Apple Looking to Improve Smartphone Display Screens with Japanese Acquisition
Published on: 2nd Apr 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Apple is reportedly in talks that could see it buy a smartphone display screen development subsidiary of Japan's Renesas Electronics.
Renesas owns a 55% stake in a LCD chip developer, Renesas SP Drivers, a joint venture by Renesas with Japan's Sharp and Taiwan's Powerchip.
The stake is said to be worth around USD480 million. The minority shareholders are also expected to be offered an option to sell, pushing the deal close to the billion dollar mark.
A report by the Nikkei business daily suggested that Apple wants to merge the design of core display components into its main development phase to more tightly integrate them into its processes, and give it an edge over its competitors.
The acquisition would enable Apple to bring the core technology in-house rather than outsourcing it to the supplier as it currently has to do.
The display driver chips also consume around 10 percent of the battery life in a typical smartphone, so tighter integration could help lower power drain.
According to the report, Apple intends to complete the deal by summer and retain most of the unit's employees totaling about 240 people.