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Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is tripling its stake in UK microchip firm Imagination Technologies, taking its share to 9.5 percent. Its buying 2.2 million new shares at £1.4275 each (total £3.14 million).
This follows its December 2008 purchase of a 3.6 percent stake for £3.14 million.
Hertfordshire-based Imagination owns DAB radio maker Pure and deals in intellectual property for digital radio, mobile and other system chips, licensing them to hardware users. Its announcement on the Apple announcement confirms “Apple is a licensee of Imagination’s technology” – reports have long thought Apple uses Imagination’s PowerVR chip in its iPhone, and AppleInsider this month reported the new iPhone 3G S uses the SGX GPU version of the chip to achieve slicker graphics performance through the OpenGL GS 2.0 standard.
Apple is by no means the only Imagination client, but it’s clearly showing increasing interest in acquiring greater control over what is becoming an increasingly key supplier.