ARM, the world-renown microprocessing giant in the United Kingdom whose microprocessor chips are currently present in 95% of all mobile phones, is now coming to the end of its independence. The source below announced earlier this morning that the ARM acquisition will see the company go to Japanese company Softbank for $32 billion USD (or 24 bn euro). Softbank currently owns American wireless carrier Sprint.
The ARM acquisition was something of a surprise for those who stay afloat of the company’s success. ARM not only makes the majority of processors in mobile phones, but, in one of its most important relationships, manufactures chips for the iPhone. ARM Co-founder Hermann Hauser said that the ARM acquisition brings about a sad day for the UK:
ARM has been the proudest achievement in my life, and this is a very sad day for me…and I think a sad day for technology in Britain…it’s the loss of independence. ARM is really the last British company that has a global reach. We sold 15 billion ARMs all over the world last year…which is more microprocessors in that one year than Intel has sold in its entire history. It is in 95% of mobile phones…it has 400 licensees, which are all the semiconductor companies in the world, bar none of the important ones…and so it gave Britain real strength and it was a British company that determined the next-generation architecture, microprocessor architecture that is going to be used in all the next-generation phones…and now, more importantly, in the next generation of the Internet of Things. And that determination of what comes next for technology will not be decided in Britain anymore, but in Japan.
ARM has had such a presence in mobile tech world, and it isn’t going anywhere — though just where it’s headed is anyone’s guess. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son says that the ARM acquisition is “one of the most important acquisitions we’ve ever made, and I expect ARM to be a key pillar of SoftBank’s growth strategy going forward.
The Wall Street Journal speculates that the Sprint owner SoftBank may have very little cash moving forward to eventually acquire T-Mobile, thanks to the company’s new ARM acquisition and mega deal and current $30 billion debt. At the end of the day, though, with Sprint’s owner being in charge of the giant in mobile phone microprocessor architecture, however, the ARM acquisition may just boost Sprint’s bottom line.