Apple aims for more control, less cost as it accelerates in chip design

Apple Inc's decision to stop licensing graphics chips from Imagination Technologies Group Plc is the clearest example yet of the iPhone maker's determination to take greater control of the core technologies in its products - both to guard its hefty margins and to position it for future innovations, especially in so-called augmented reality, Reuters reports. 

The strategy, analysts say, has already reduced Apple's dependence on critical outside suppliers like ARM Holdings Plc, now owned by SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T). Apple once relied heavily on ARM to design the main processor for the iPhone, but it now licenses only the basic ARM architecture and designs most of the chip itself.

More recently, when Apple bought the headphone company Beats Electronics, part of a $3 billion deal in 2014, it ripped out the existing, off-the-shelf communications chips and replaced them with its own custom-designed W1 Bluetooth chip.

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