At times it seems as though Apple is loathe to work with its manufacturing and component supply partners, most notably Samsung, a rival in the mobile space. So, it’s not really surprising that Apple is entering into a massive $600 million partial acquisition and licensing deal with Dialog Semiconductor, a fabless semiconductor company that is mostly focused on developing integrated and mixed-signal products.
“Our passion for innovation and entrepreneurial spirit ensures we remain at the core of mobile computing and the Internet of Things (‘IoT’),” Dialog Semiconductor explains on its website. The company also touts how its technologies “contribute to extending battery life in portable devices, charging batteries faster and safely, and providing efficient connectivity in IoT applications.”
These are all areas Apple has an obvious vested interest in, from smartphones and smartwatches, to smart speakers and whatever else the Cupertino outfit might be cooking up in its labs.
According to TechCrunch, Dialog Semiconductors views this partnership as an asset transfer and licensing deal. It appears to be a little of both—Apple is acquiring part of the company for $300 million in cash, and will spend an additional $300 million on purchases from the rest of Dialog Semiconductor’s business, for a $600 total expenditure.
This will be Apple’s biggest acquisition to date. As part of the deal, 300 of Dialog Semiconductor’s employees will join Apple, with Apple taking over entire buildings in some instances.
“Dialog has deep expertise in chip development, and we are thrilled to have this talented group of engineers who’ve long supported our products now working directly for Apple,” Johny Srouji, Apple SVP of hardware technologies, said in a statement. “Our relationship with Dialog goes all the way back to the early iPhones, and we look forward to continuing this long-standing relationship with them.”
Anything Apple does in the semiconductor space is notable, both because of how big the company is, and due to its history of using custom designed chips in its phones that often perform at the top of their class. The A12 Bionic, for example, is one of the best performing mobile chips around.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019, possibly coinciding with Apple’s rumored plans to release a VR headset.