Apple Inc has just acquired Imagination Technologies Group, a UK company that is famous for its graphics technology. The new acquisition will let Apple be one of its major shareholders by owning 3.6 percent (or equivalent to 8,200,000 shares) of its total market share and begins more development and opportunity exploration using its graphics technology for next generation product lines.

Current iPhone and iPod are already utilizing Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR MBX Lite 3D hardware accelerator, that make it one of the best portable multimedia and full graphics centric machines in consumer markets. Some analysts do forecast that this could be another great indication that Apple is planning to come out with its own hardware processor for future iPhone and iPod. If you remember, Apple has acquired PA Semi, a famous multi-core processor company few months ago and probably this is the second steps of its whole initiative to become a new market leader in processor design and manufacturing. According to reliable source, Apple may have already started working on its next generation SoC (Silicon on Chip) with collaboration from few market leaders with different expertise and technology background. The SoC is believed to be based on ARM core with integrated Power VR SGX graphics solution from Imagination and more interestingly, the silicon fabrication and manufacturing process is claimed to be handled by Samsung.

If all these speculations are true, Intel may face another new obstacle when trying to position its new Intel Atom processor into next generation iPhone and mobile segments since Apple Inc, the ARM core flavored potential customer may become its rival in one day.