With ARM Holdings close to being sold to Nvidia for $40 billion, you might be wondering why Apple never made a grab at it. After all, Apple and Nvidia aren’t on the best of terms, and Apple uses ARM in iPhones, iPads, and now Macs.
But Apple was never interested in buying ARM Holdings, and John Gruber at Daring Fireball explains why in a very clear and concise three sentences:
Apple’s chips do use the ARM64 instruction set, but I believe Apple already has a perpetual license for that. Apple does not license chips or chip designs from Arm — Apple’s chips are its own designs, which is why they offer performance unlike those of any other Arm licensee. This too is why Apple wasn’t interested in itself acquiring Arm Holdings: Arm’s business is about licensing technology to other companies; Apple’s business is about keeping its technology for itself.