Is Apple preparing a takeover bid for ARM, the Cambridge-based chip manufacturer?
Rumours circulating in the City of London, on the back of spectacular Apple profits announced earlier in the week, sent ARM shares up sharply yesterday.
Apple is ARM's biggest client and with the launch of the iPad, Apple may be concerned to get tighter control of core components.
London's Evening Standard yesterday quoted one trader saying "A deal would make a lot of sense for Apple. That way, they could stop ARM's technology from ending up in everyone else's computers and gadgets."
City traders believe a bid would be at around 400p a share, valuing ARM at more than £5.2 billion.
Veteran Analyst Richard Holway of TechmarketView said, ARM processors were used in the iPhone, iPod and iPad. "I have no idea if there is any validity in (the rumours) but makes sense as Apple designed the main chip for the iPad inhouse and doesn't want to see its technology used in other competing products.
In a bid to take on ARM's domination of the smartphone market, Intel used its developer forum last week to show it could port Google's Android mobile operating system to smartphones based on its Atom microprocessors.