updated 11:55 am EDT, Tue May 27, 2014
Synaptics seen as leading candidate instaead
Negotations between Apple and Renesas Electronics for a potential buyout of Renesas SP Drivers have broken down, according to Reuters. As a result, Renesas is said to have shifted focus to another potential investor, Synaptics, a fellow smartphone chip supplier. Renesas SP Drivers is a joint venture with Sharp and Powerchip that develops display drivers and controllers.
The proposed Apple deal would've involved buying up Renesas' 55 percent stake in SP Drivers at a cost of about $479 million, and acquiring Sharp's stake as well. The venture currently produces all of the display chips for the iPhone; owning it would've given Apple more control over that technology, but also had a serious impact on the smartphone industry. SP Drivers holds about a third of the market for small- to mid-sized LCDs, and Apple tends to shut out third parties once it buys a firm.