Amazon.com is reportedly looking to buy the mobile chip unit of Texas Instruments, a potentially bold move that would push the online retailer deeper into owning key components for its tablet computers. It also could set the stage for a possible push into the smartphone business, mirroring a path taken by Apple which designs its own chips.
The news of the deal, expected to be worth billions, was reported Monday by the Israeli newspaper Calcalist.
Amazon certainly has been bolstering its mobile and tablet business, with a launch this past summer of a new line of Kindle devices. It is also widely believed to be working on a new mobile phone, pitting the company against Samsung and Apple. (Amazon also has been rumored in the past to be eyeing RIM, maker of BlackBerry).
The Next Web points out that Barnes & Noble — an intense rival of Amazon.com and a partner of Microsoft — utilizes Texas Instruments’ chips for its Nook tablets. The chips also are used in the Kindle Fire.
Last month, Texas Instruments said it planned to exit the mobile chip business, focusing instead on embedded processors.