“The management team have done a tremendous job over the last year, turning the business around, returning it to profitability and with a clear strategy for growth,” said chairman Peter Hill. “It’s therefore highly regrettable that this progress has been so severely impacted by the stance taken by Apple.”
Earlier this year, Apple informed Imagination that it plans to stop using the company’s patented PowerVR graphics technology in devices like the iPhone in between 15 months and two years. Accordingly, Apple said it will stop making royalty payments to the British firm by late 2018 or early 2019.
Apple instead plans to use its own in-house graphics architecture, eliminating the need to pay royalties for the PowerVR technology.
Apple is Imagination’s biggest customer, reportedly accounting for up to half of the company’s revenue. The chipmaker’s stock plunged as much as 70 percent after it revealed Apple’s plans, as analysts predict the company could become loss-making within two years without royalties from iPhone sales.
Imagination insists that Apple is making “unsubstantiated assertions,” as the iPhone maker has supposedly yet to present any evidence to prove that it will no longer require the British firm’s technology, at least not without violating its patents, intellectual property, and confidential information.
“Apple’s unsubstantiated assertions and the resultant dispute have forced us to change our course, despite the clear progress we have been making,” said Andrew Heath, CEO of Imagination Technologies.
Imagination said, following interest in the entire company, it decided to initiate a formal sale process on June 22. The chipmaker today disclosed that preliminary discussions continue with potential bidders.