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Apple Invests in Advanced Mobile Graphics

oldapplelogoIf news that broke today is any clue, future iPhones and iPods could boast more potent graphics capabilities. UK-based chip maker Imagination has announced that Apple had acquired a 3.6 percent stake in the company and licensed its PowerVR graphics technology. Apple already a great gaming platform in the iPhone, and this transaction plays to that strength.

The deal may have been in the works since earlier this year, according to a report by AppleInsider, which has been following Apple’s supply chain. With the acquisition, Apple will be better positioned to offer its developers a more compelling gaming platform.

Many of the top applications in the iTunes App Store are games. Cupertino–which touts the iPod Touch as the “funnest iPod ever” knows that and sees the opportunities that it presents. In the near term, it would serve itself well by promoting the existing iPhone’s portfolio of games, and highlighting a handful of the most compelling titles. (It has already leveraged restaurant-finder app Urbanspoon in its advertising.)

Why ensure that media-centric devices like the iPhone and iPod appeal to gamers, too? Consider this: The gaming industry now eclipses Hollywood in revenue. Mobile gaming could be a very lucrative revenue stream for Apple, so it’s only logical that it invest in technologies that will excite game developers.