Amid a bitter stand-off with Britain-based micro-chip company Imagination Technologies, Apple sent a stern message by opening an office in its proximity. The tech giant planted its flag by renting a 22,500 square-foot office in St Albans just a few miles from Imagination’s headquarters in Hertfordshire village of Kings Langley, the Telegraph reported on Saturday. The company plans to use the office to develop its own graphics technology for Apple devices after it announced termination of its partnership with Imagination. 

The development has led to fears in the Imagination camp that Apple will poach its talented staff. In recent months, Apple hired a string of Imagination employees, including its former Chief Operating Officer John Metcalfe. Imagination had earlier accused Apple of breaching ethics when the latter claimed that they would no longer need to pay royalties as they plan to stop using the Imagination graphics technology.

The Chief Executive of Imagination, Andrew Heath had challenged Apple’s claim that it will be able to develop its own technology without infringing on Imagination’s technology. Imagination’s technology currently forms the basis of the graphics chip featuring in every iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Disputing Imagination’s claims, Apple maintained that they had sent two years’ prior notice regarding the end of partnership.

“We valued our past relationship and wanted to give them as much notice as possible to adapt their future plans. We’re disappointed in their response, which has been inaccurate and misleading,” a spokesman of Apple was quoted as saying.

According to analysts, Imagination is not a viable business without royalties from Apple. The company had put itself up for sale last month.

First Published | 9 July 2017 1:41 PM
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