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Apple hits back at Imagination’s ‘misleading’ statements, disputes timeline

The war of words between Apple and Imagination Technologies seems to be escalating. A few days after Imagination’s annual report accused Apple of making ‘unsubstantiated allegations,’ the Cupertino company has hit back.

Apple says that the chip designer’s response has been ‘inaccurate and misleading,’ and presents a very different timeline of events …

While Imagination disclosed in April a warning from Apple that it would cease to be a customer within two years, Apple told Bloomberg that it first issued a warning as long ago as 2015.

We began working with Imagination in 2007 and stopped accepting new IP from them in 2015. After lengthy discussions we advised them on February 9 that we expected to wind down our licensing agreement since we need unique and differentiating IP for our products. We valued our past relationship and wanted to give them as much notice as possible to adapt their future plans.

The company currently pays Imagination 30 cents per device made, and is expected to reduce this to 10 cents before ceasing payments altogether.

Apple also dismissed Imagination’s claim that it would be impossible for the iPhone-maker to create its own GPU chips without infringing upon its patents.

Responding to the allegations, Apple said it’s been using less and less of Imagination’s technology in recent years and that the supplier would have no way of knowing how its future products are designed. “We’re disappointed in their response, which has been inaccurate and misleading,” Apple said.

This latest turn of events is potentially very serious. Any publicly-traded company has a legal obligation to disclose material information that may significantly impact its prospects, and Apple appears to be suggesting that Imagination had some knowledge more than two years before its disclosure.

The two companies are currently going through a dispute resolution process, while Imagination has put itself up for sale.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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