Rumor: Amazon to buy Texas Instruments’ OMAP unit
Every Amazon Kindle Fire tablet that has been sold thus far has had a Texas Instruments processor under the hood. Last month, we reported that TI was looking to shift their focus away from the mobile chip business and instead concentrate on embedded systems. Today, courtesy of The Next Web, we now have a rumor that says Amazon is considering buying the division within Texas Instruments that designs chips for smartphones and tablets. You and I know this unit better as “OMAP”. The source of the rumor is the Israeli newspaper Calcalist, which has a track record of getting these kind of stories right. They were the first to cover Apple’s purchase of Anobit, for example.
It should be noted that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has an OMAP chip, which is incredibly odd, because Samsung tends to use their own Exynos processors inside their high end mobile phones. Their budget devices, such as the Galaxy Chat, use Broadcom chips.
Back to Amazon, assuming they indeed buy the OMAP unit, what does that mean for you? Not much to be perfectly honest. According to research that was published last week, Texas Instruments is the 5th largest mobile chip maker in terms of revenues. We don’t know how small their share of the pie is exactly, but with Qualcomm taking 48% of all the money spent on mobile processors … you’ve got to think that TI isn’t really an important player.
Will Amazon ever make a smartphone? That’s something that’s been rumored for ages now, and we can see why. Amazon has deals in place with content providers, they have deals in place with operators to make sure their 3G enabled electronic readers work anywhere in the world, and they’re in a good position to become the biggest online retailer should they start setting up fulfillment centers in other major countries.