Purchase will cost $479 million
Apple has been buying the chips and drivers that power the screens of the iPhone and other devices from Renesas SP Drivers for years. Apple is now ready to bring that production in house and has reportedly made an offer to purchase the Renesas stake in Renesas SP Drivers reports Nikkei.
Renesas SP Driver is a joint venture between Renesas, Sharp, and Powerchip. Renesas owns 55% of the joint venture and reports indicate that Apple will pay $479 million for that share. Apple is said to want to close the deal by this summer.
Word is that if Apple succeeds in closing the deal for Renesas' share of the joint venture, Sharp will also allow Apple to buy its 25% share leaving Powerchip with 20%. Powerchip is the company that builds the chips.
The deal will also include the 240 workers that are employed in Japan. Those workers are expected to continue with the company afar the sale. Renesas SP is the leading producer of drivers and controllers for small and mid-size LCDs in the world.
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Bringing that production in house will allow Apple to ensure its production and control more of the components it needs. Apple is also tipped to want to meld the design of core display components into the overall product development of its smartphones. Presumably, this will result in better display performance for Apple products in the future. The display controller chips also affect the battery life of the smartphone.