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Amazon is reportedly interested in purchasing Texas Instrument's mobile processor business. Earlier this month, TI announced its intention to seek a buyer for the unit.
Assaf Gilad first reported the news for Isreal's Calcalist. (See translated version.) According to Gilad's sources, the two companies are in "advanced negotiations" and the purchase "is expected to be priced at billions of dollars."
Cnet's Don Reisinger observed, "If Amazon buys out Texas Instruments' mobile chip business, it would mark a dramatic shift for the e-retail giant. Amazon uses Texas Instruments' processors in its mobile devices, including the latest Kindle Fire HD. Barnes & Noble, one of its chief competitors, does, as well. It's not clear if Amazon will continue to sell chips to competitors or use its own technology for itself."
In an article for The Next Web, Robin Wauters noted, "Amazon.com competitors such as Apple and Samsung Electronics already manufacture their own processors to power their advanced mobile devices, and Texas Instruments has been struggling in this segment under increasing pressure from rival suppliers like Qualcomm, Intel and Nvidia."
SlashGear's Chris Davies pointed out, "In the case of Kindle, about which Amazon has already confirmed that it makes no profit on hardware sales, custom chips could mean cheaper tablets and ereaders, thus helping lower the cost of entry to new customers for ebooks, movies, music, and apps. TI has declined to comment specifically on the rumors, though reiterated its previous position of looking to transition its market of choice."