Last week, Nvidia revealed they were buying Arm for $40 billion — to be reached through a mix of shares and cash from Nvidia. This will result in some exciting modifications.
It’s fascinating to know that Steve Jobs lived; Apple will seek to buy Arm instead of Nvidia. When it comes to vertical integration, Tim Cook and Steve were on the same page, so where Tim would look at the regulatory issues and not make this contract, Jobs would have been totally steamed ahead and probably had it done.
If Apple had done this, most of its rivals would have been nearly shut out (over time) either from crucial elements of Arm or absolutely from Arm. But that hasn’t happened. Nvidia bought Arm, and Apple could be at greater risk from this purchase. This places Nvidia at the forefront of a licensing pivot in the industry, which will be a big game-changer.
Apple’s Missed the Chance
It would have been perfect for Apple to buy Belt. They have hundreds of billions of dollars in savings outside the U.S. They can’t repatriate without a massive tax impact, so it should have been reasonably easy to justify legally using the money to procure Weapon. Instead of Apple having a vertically integrated lock-in scheme, which would have put all Arm licensees at risk, the problem would have been legislative.
But as Oracle did to get through their violent Peoplesoft purchase, Apple may have made commitments as well and then eventually reneged on them over time to prevent political retaliation. Apple would either have owned Arm and shut out everyone else at the end of the process or given itself a strategic edge that no other seller could equal.
Nvidia has no specific partnership with Apple and can fend off the company’s hostile takeover or invasion. So Apple failed what could have been their last chance to own the Arm environment or regulate it. I think this reflects the contrast between Tim Cook and Steve Jobs, rather than anything else recently: Cook tends to resist high-risk choices that Steve Jobs ultimately accepted.
Nvidia doesn’t dislike Apple today either, but one of the more influential founding CEOs runs the company and is much less likely to be intimidated by Apple than Arm was likely to be. Thus, whatever strategic edge Apple’s vigorous licensing activities may have had for this purchase could be diminished, if not removed.
This agreement makes partners with Nvidia and Qualcomm and provides the possibility for combined technologies that Apple would not have access to because of their historic inadequate Qualcomm care. Finally, Apple’s potential to more vertically integrate with Arm ends at Nvidia because of this integration.
Other chip companies with attractive proposals and maybe takeover candidates, such as SiFive, are coming to market. Nevertheless, Apple is transitioning to Arm, and that means another processor change within a decade, if possible, is impossible. Apple may consider buying a business like SiFive as a long-term vertical integration strategy, though. However, this potential is likely to seem too far off to be realistic with the Weapon migration underway; and Tim Cook is more tactical than a strategic planner.
Nvidia Changing the Game
With Nvidia purchasing Arm and agreeing to turn to something of a license model itself, they adopt an acquisition best practice when leaving Arm entirely alone. There are fears that Nvidia will attempt to compel Arm to drop its existing licensing approach and turn to the even more restrictive Nvidia CUDA model. Still, considering that it will cause enormous problems for Arm — and Arm’s licensees — to compel them to look at alternate solutions, I think the result is impossible. However, security
As mentioned above, thanks to their license agreement with Arm, Qualcomm will immediately become a partner. This may also result in an exciting alliance between the two companies. The two firms do not compete actively and have a similar interest in AI / Automotive. Combined with Nvidia’s more significant preparation and Qualcomm’s inference strength, they could pose a more significant end-to-end potential than either could achieve alone. While I agree this consequence is impossible, it is much less likely than before the merger.
With Arm as the leading hardware supplier, Nvidia becomes more of a peer to AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm. This acquisition would free up opportunities for the technology community’s company to develop new, creative, and persuasive products.
Significant technical advances are due to PCs, smartphones, and tablets, with devices such as the multiple flip phones and the Microsoft Surface Pair discovering what the future could hold. While much of the acquisition debate was around AI, AI is expanding into end-user services, and the CEO of Nvidia is a strategic thinker. This strategic orientation indicates that we could be only a few months or years away from a significant personal technology change to much-advanced PCs, phones, and tablets.
Bottom Line – Nvidia + Arm merger
An important phenomenon is the Nvidia + Arm merger. We are raising Nvidia to AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm as a peer, which opens the door to deep collaboration between Qualcomm. It presents Nvidia with an ability to pivot all licenses and innovative personal technology technologies onto the market.
Ultimately, if Nvidia performs well (and their mentioned strategy reflects best practice), the outcome should be a far more efficient Nvidia; and a similarly profound move to the future of everything — from personal electronics services such as smartphones to smarter supercomputers.
Now, the only question is whether they can get China’s blessing to get this deal completed.