Apple is looking at buying a chip manufacturer with the aim of improving the screen quality and battery life of future iPhones and other products.
The California company is in negotiations with Japan’s Renesas Electronics over the possibility of acquiring its division responsible for producing chips for displays used in the iPhone and other devices, a report by Nikkei Asian Review claims.
Bringing the design and production of these chips in house would let Apple take advantage of the Japanese firm’s experience in the sector to “improve image sharpness and battery life,” the report claims.
The division, called Renesas SP Drivers, is a joint venture with Sharp and Taiwan’s Powerchip. Apple is said to be interested in Renesas’ entire 55% stake in the venture, and is willing to pay 50 billion yen ($479 million). Most of the division’s 240 employees in Japan are expected to stay on after the deal is completed, which Apple hopes will take place by the summer.
What this means for consumers is improved power efficiency from future iPhones and other Apple devices. It is claimed the chips produced by Renesas account for around 10% of a smartphone’s battery usage; the chip is also used to determine display quality and performance.
With the deal not expected to be completed until the summer, it is unlikely that the iPhone 6 - expected in September or October - will benefit from the chips being made in-house, but future devices may well see improved display quality and battery efficiency.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review