According to our friend Assaf Gilad over at the Calcalist
, Amazon has entered into the more serious levels of negotiation with Texas Instruments to purchase the OMAP processor division from Texas Instruments. This play seems fairly reasonable when you consider all of the past rumors that TI would no longer be producing OMAP processors for consumers and that TI would be selling off the division.
Also, when you look at their past, TI simply hasn't had any recent design wins in any notable products except for in Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD (which we'll be reviewing shortly). They have been talking about their future products in their OMAP 5 series of SoCs, however, those A-15 based SoCs are likely not to be seen in many devices considering TI's lack of many recent design wins.
One interesting tidbit is that TI also supplies the SoC for Barnes and Noble's Nook Color which is a direct competitor to Amazon's Kindle Fire product line. Such things tend to happen from time to time when a competitor buys a parts supplier for a certain tech company and usually that relationship slowly withers off instead of becoming a major point of contention.
We believe that Amazon does not necessarily need to acquire an SoC vendor in order to remain competitive with the likes of Samsung and Apple, however, being able to use their own SoCs could further drive down the cost of the actual devices enabling Amazon to sell their tablets for even lower prices and perhaps for once even make a profit off of the device instead of just the services.
The talk is that this would be a deal in the billions of dollars and would likely result in a complete absorbtion of TI's OMAP division into Amazon's vast empire. It should be interesting to see how such an acquisition would work out for consumers when Amazon's past acquisitions
have mostly ended up in relatively good products for consumers and profit for Amazon. We honestly don't see many holes in such a rumor with the exception of the fact that Amazon doesn't necessarily need the OMAP business in order to be competitive, however it could drive their costs down. They also have a long track record of being a TI customer and buying OMAP processors for their Kindle.
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