It was just a few days ago that news broke of Apple ending its licence agreement with British graphic chip-maker Imagination Technologies, causing the latter’s stock to plummet.
As the revelation broke, a statement from Imagination claimed Apple would be working on its own graphics chip for use in future iPhones and iPads, and now it seems the company could be doing the same with battery tech.
An analyst from German bank Bankhaus Lampe claims Apple is developing its own custom power management chips for use in its mobile devices.
Related: iPhone 8
The company will, according to the report (via Reuters), look to replace power management chips which are currently supplied by Dialog Semiconductor.
Bankhaus Lampe analyst Karsten Iltgen said: “In our view, there is strong evidence that Apple is developing its own PMIC and intends to replace the chip made by Dialog at least in part.”
Apple’s own custom silicon could be used in place of Dialog’s technology as soon as 2019, with the analyst highlighting Apple’s recent hiring of engineers from the third-party supplier.
Cupertino is said to already have its own team set up to work on developing the in-house power management chips, which are used to manage voltage and charging across devices’ components.
Unnamed industry sources, cited in Bankhaus Lampe’s report, are said to have claimed that Apple will set up design centres to create the new technology in Munich and California.
The German company relied on Apple for 70% of its 2016 sales according to analysts, so losing the supply deal with Cupertino will be a huge blow to the firm.
However, as Reuters also reports, a trader with brokerage Exane said Dialog has already completed chip designs which Apple will use in 2017 and 2018 iPhone models – suggesting Apple could still work with Dialog for the next couple of years.
At this point, it remains unclear exactly what’s going on, but Apple making its own power management technology makes a lot of sense following the news it will be developing its own graphics chips.
Whether this year’s iPhone 8 will make use of the company’s own power management tech also remains a mystery at this point, but more information should become available in the coming weeks.
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