Report: Apple buys Bluetooth chipmaker, possibly for iWatch efforts

Sources tell ex-WSJ reporter Jessica Lessin Apple (AAPL +0.7%) has acquired Passif Semiconductor, a chipmaker developing radios for the low-power Bluetooth LE (i.e. Bluetooth SMART) standard, which was created with embedded and wearable computing applications in mind.

Two weeks ago, the FT reported Apple is ramping its iWatch design/engineering efforts. Passif's chips are a logical fit for them.

The acquisition is noteworthy for Broadcom (BRCM +0.2%), given the company is the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS combo chip supplier for the iPhone and iPad, and has been developing its own low-power Bluetooth parts.

Pac Crest recently stated there's a growing risk Apple will abandon Broadcom in favor of home-grown combo chips, given Apple's hiring activity and Texas Instruments' $315M sale of wireless connectivity IP to an unnamed OEM (believed by some to be Apple). If Apple wishes to ditch Broadcom, Passif could provide one piece to the puzzle, but only that.

Update: Apple confirms it has bought Passif.

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Comments (7)
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (2350) | Send Message
    Positive news.
    1 Aug 2013, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • Arthur Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (345) | Send Message
    Who manufactures the Passif parts?
    1 Aug 2013, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • scott trader
    , contributor
    Comments (6948) | Send Message
    Homegrown /in house had always been a blueprint of Steve Jobs
    1 Aug 2013, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • scott trader
    , contributor
    Comments (6948) | Send Message
    And now rumors are the iPhone will be a part of a hearing aid device.....coincidental..
    24 Nov 2013, 11:28 PM Reply Like
  • rocback
    , contributor
    Comments (1098) | Send Message
    slowly but surely Apple is beefing up its tech patents needed for wearable computing.
    1 Aug 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • scott trader
    , contributor
    Comments (6948) | Send Message
    The I watch may be a part of the new hearing aid device ....
    25 Nov 2013, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • dook
    , contributor
    Comments (67) | Send Message
    The stock market, with its emotional fix on the short term, has been ignoring that AAPL has a lot going on beneath the headlines. With their cash and their massive R and D, AAPL is both a Blue Chip and a powerful growth stock. Grow up, Market.
    1 Aug 2013, 05:35 PM Reply Like
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