Adding GPUs to its in-house CPU development seems a reasonable thing to do if Apple believes it can do a better design job than Imagination.
Furthermore Imagination, with all its recent woes, must have given Apple a few recent colly-wobbles about its status as a stable future supplier of a key component.
The Toshiba thing is much more significant because it would mean that Apple would be operating fabs.
For years the received industry wisdom has been that operating capital-gobbling fabs is something best left to the foundries.
For Apple to move into fabbing its own chips would be a blow for its foundry partner and its memory suppliers, but it would eliminate the foundry margin and the memory suppliers’ margins and give Apple tighter control of its costs.
And this seems to be, in the absence of significant innovation, where Apple sees its future.
Moreover Apple’s main competitor is almost completely vertically integrated – it can make its products from in-house produced components – and Apple may have realised it needs to be able to move in that direction if it is to be able to compete.
So is this back to the 80s when the great vertically integrated companies of Japan: Hitachi, Toshiba, NEC, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Sony etc could make their products from the ground up using all their own components?