Toshiba has put its memory chips business up for sale to make up for a writedown of $6.56 billion in its US nuclear equipment operations. One option being considered is an investment accompanied by Toshiba holding shares, so that a majority of the semiconductor unit will be held by US and Japanese interests, satisfying the respective governments.
The process is being put on hold after joint venture partner Western Digital warned a sale may violate a contract it has with Toshiba so it might not happen anyway. But Apple is clearly looking for a way to reduce its unit costs for memory chips.
What it looks like is that Hon Hai could take a stake of about 30 percent and have parties including Apple and Japanese companies also invest in the chip company. Hon Hai has asked SoftBank Group for help with its bid for the chips business.
The Yomiuri newspaper said last month that Apple was among the bidders for the chips unit, but no one really took any notice. Since then Apple has been getting rid of its chip partners and might be trying to draw as much of its production in-house to save costs.