According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Apple is currently negotiating with Japan’s Renesas Electronics over the possibility of acquiring a unit of the company that builds chips for smartphone displays used in the iPhone and other devices. The buy, according to Nikkei, could allow Apple to take advantage of the company’s engineering experience to “improve image sharpness and battery life” while bringing development of the components in-house:
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Apple has its eye on Renesas SP Drivers, a Renesas joint venture with Sharp and Taiwan’s Powerchip. Apple is said to be seeking Renesas’ entire 55% stake for an estimated 50 billion yen ($479 million). The Tokyo company appears to have logged a profit of 6 billion yen on sales of some 60 billion yen in the fiscal year ended Monday.
The report adds that Apple expects to close the deal by the summer and keep all of the company’s 240 employees. The deal would also see Sharp selling it’s 25% of Reness SP Drivers if Apple closes the deal, according to the report.
The news follows a recent report from Nikkei Asian Review confirming earlier reports that Apple was planning on releasing a new iPhone in two new screen sizes in September. The publication has correctly predicted or reported on details of unreleased Apple products in the past. Bloomberg, WSJ, and others previously reported that Apple was planning on introducing new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models of the next-gen iPhone.
Renesas Electronics is already a supplier of components for Apple products as confirmed by Apple’s list of suppliers published on its website.