Suppliers Beware: The Perils of Vertical Integration

Jon Peddie, EETimes, Jul. 12, 2017 – 

There are basically two types of organizations in the computer and mobile industry: device makers who are, to the extent they can be, vertically integrated, and component or IP suppliers that offer their product or technology across several vertical product types to the device makers.

A successful salesman once told me, "Sales is easy, just listen to the customer -- he'll tell you what he wants to buy."

Apple has been telling Imagination Technologies for years what Apple wanted to buy, and Imagination has been delivering the desired designs since 2006. Some people have even suggested that Apple has been largely responsible for Imagination's technology development roadmap. Apple is what Imagination calls a lead partner, which puts it in a position to make inputs to Imagination's roadmap -- a status that has also been enjoyed by other customers, including Intel, TI, Renesas etc., so Apple can't take full credit.

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