1.) How is it that Wall Street sees no link between Apple and ARM? Some day they will wake up and discover that ARM's P/E ratio has no visible means of support.
2.) Steve Jobs died 68 weeks ago. It seems that there is little doubt that he is sorely missed and that Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs and apparently neither is anyone else at Apple.
3.) Again, I think that the Acronix and Altera deals must have suspended whatever fabrication plans Apple had in process.
4.) Apple needs touchscreens.
5.) Apple needs the iWatch or something that big in potential. And they need it now.
6.) If they squander that huge hunk of cash and don't get anything game-breaking from it (like an inferior technology fab of their own or run by TSMC), it could be a very, very long time before they climb back into the race. One more stumble and Samsung is going to be eating their lunch (and dinner).
7.) Time Cook thought he could just make small, incremental improvements and still grow the stock price. Wow, was he wrong.
The Apple situation gets more interesting every day. We know where Intel is going. The question is whether Apple wants to come along...
Apple without Steve Jobs is like the Doors without Jim Morrison. Tim Cook is actually the right man for the job for what the company is going to be, a large consumer electronics label. They are beyond leading market innovation, they don't have the company culture to drive the next big idea. All they really have to do is stay current with technology. That will keep their client base happy.
The money will help them stay afloat and help with R & D and who knows, maybe something cool can come out of them over the next five years.
As for ARMH they got a head start in a foot race that they will eventually lose. They have established themselves in phones to the extent that they will never be removed from them entirely. By now it's looking clear that what they want to do is offer a certain SoC for as long as they can to get maximum ROI. They also see a big future in embedded applications. Low dollar/high volume business will keep them happy for a very long time. Like Apple ARMH will have current but not bleeding edge technology. They can't scale up faster than Intel can scale down. Yet, yet, yet, I don't know if that's such a big deal. Look at what phones are "hot" right now. Larger screens like the Note II. It seems like the market is less concerned about pure performance than they are usability. This may help them stretch out their 40nm, 32nm, and 28nm if consumers rate other factors than CPU performance higher. This was the case with the iPad. The screen and GPU were more important than the actual CPU.
There was a time that cell phones were nearly exclusively in cars. Then they became mobile, and that was chic. Then they got smaller and people didn't care as much. They stayed that way for many years, just something you traded in every two years with a new contract for something a little nicer. That will be the future of smartphones. Modest improvements over time, innovation waning.
"This may help them stretch out their 40nm, 32nm, and 28nm if consumers rate other factors than CPU performance higher. This was the case with the iPad. The screen and GPU were more important than the actual CPU."
[Yet the new iPad ran into problems because it was fat and over-heated. It was said that Jobs would never have allowed the iPad to have become fatter. So, already Apple's fabrication problems are serious and it's only going to get worse. Altera moving to Intel is a solid indication that companies are looking at and wanting Intel's advanced fabrication technology. In a year, we'll look back and say this was the tipping point. It's happening now...]