Apple buying chip equipment to deploy, says analyst

Apple buying chip equipment to deploy, says analyst

Summary: Apple may be buying semiconductor equipment to deploy in a partner's fab as it continues to use procurement as a weapon in the mobile market.

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TOPICS: Apple, BlackBerry
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Apple may be buying semiconductor equipment to deploy in a partner's fab as it continues to use procurement as a weapon in the mobile market.

That tidbit comes in a research note from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. Misek covers a bunch of territory in a research note, but the following bullets are worth noting. Misek thinks:

  • Apple is deploying chip equipment for app processors to assure capacity and push quad core and beyond without being tied to existing vendors, like Intel.
  • The company has acquired most of the constrained components in the market.
  • And will use cash to secure content for cloud and mobile services.

Misek doesn't really elaborate much on those themes, but also tossed out some theories about Research in Motion. Those notable points include:

  • RIM's December quarter results look fine due to international sales. He notes that BlackBerries are outselling the iPhone in the U.K.
  • Android's ecosystem will be RIM's app playground.
  • The BlackBerry OS 6.1 will be built on QNX---the OS that powers the PlayBook. QNX will become the dominant OS.

Topics: Apple, BlackBerry

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14 comments
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  • Sooner or later, Apple will use Arm chips in notebooks. What chip

    architecture will they use in their new data center???
    DonnieBoy
    • What???

      @DonnieBoy What the heck is RIM anyway..?
      crcgraphix
  • Smart use of the cash.

    Apple has been under pressure from large investors to "redistribute" some of that huge pile o'cash to shareholders. This kind of activity makes it look [more] like Apple is putting it to good use itself. Plus it puts a lot of FUD into the hearts of device OEMs. I'm sure the commodity component manufacturers are happy to see Apple-instigated inflation for their products.

    As for "QNX will become the dominant OS", I've got a vision problem with that, I just don't see it happening. RIM has got some fundamental problems with margin and subscriber per device ([i]cf.[/i] http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.com/2010/10/whats-really-wrong-with-blackberry-and.html). They'll not become LG with negative margins, but then again they [i]can't[/i] be, they don't make anything else. And Playbook won't necessarily solve these problems. It's an add-on to existing BB customers, so it's only positive will be if [b]new[/b] subscribers come on-board buying both a BlackBerry [b]and[/b] a PlayBook.
    matthew_maurice
  • Keep the rivals fighting each other for components...

    I'm going to really enjoy seeing Apple boosting capacity of their own personal processors and throwing the copycats into a component-starved frenzy. Maybe they'll be able to lower processor component cost to being one of the least expensive components in their devices. This is money well spent to safeguard Apple's future component supply. They've reached some sweet tipping point of easily being able to afford to pay for capacity before actually needing it.<br><br>I'm looking forward to quad-core-based ARM notebooks running a ported version of OSX. Ultra-light, ultra-efficient with extended battery life. That's the way to go.
    ConstableOdo
    • you will never see the difference

      @ConstableOdo if Apple lowers component costs it is because they want to keepmore for themselves and the customer does not figure into the equation at all.
      slickjim
      • RE: Apple buying chip equipment to deploy, says analyst

        @Peter Perry
        The same can be said for all companies. To single out one company (in this case Apple), shows a lack of reasoning skills. There are several trolls on ZDNet, you are trying to take the top spot.
        Rick_K
    • But then they also take on alot more responsibilty

      @ConstableOdo
      When an issue arises with their chips (it will happen), they assume the cost of repair/replacement alone.
      John Zern
      • RE: Apple buying chip equipment to deploy, says analyst

        @John Zern Did I miss where Apple was opening their own fabs? It's my understanding that they are buying equipment that is being install/used at supplier fabs. This to me says that they may be buying the equipment but the supplier is still the one operating it. This would also mean that any issues with the chips (apart from equipment issues) would be on the supplier, not Apple.
        non-biased
    • RE: Apple buying chip equipment to deploy, says analyst

      @ConstableOdo This is a very smart move on their part. Currently component lead-times are continuing to go out and it will take some time for that trend to change. This move not only helps insure that Apple gets the supply they need but could very well reduce their cost down the road if not in the near future. Those like Peter Perry will assume that the reduced cost would only be to improve their profit margin (which they have every right to do) but in reality it could be a means to further keep the competition on it's heals buy reducing the retail prices.
      non-biased
  • I hope they don't screw-up like Intel did...

    This better not be another sandy bridge type o thing... I hope that if Apple does this correctly then it'll provide much needed support for the recalled XTLs ... to say the least and softly spoken.
    crcgraphix
  • RE: Apple buying chip equipment to deploy, says analyst

    The analyst is wrong in my opinion it's more likely they're buying fab capacity, wafers with which they can make more chips to sell ipads etc. The fab may in turn decide to invest the cash in more equipment.
    moloned@...
  • SkyNET a.k.a iDataCenter

    will require a lot of silicone to achieve self-awareness...
    Gr8Music
    • RE: Apple buying chip equipment to deploy, says analyst

      @Gr8Music LOL! Love it!
      lelandhendrix@...
  • Proprietary hardware is Apple

    As we were all surprised when Apple dropped the Power chip for Intel. We also knew it would not be long before Apple would go back to hardware that is specifically Apple's.
    I have always been surprised Apple never bought AMD.
    jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376