ARM chips, including the current Cortex A8, power the iPhone 3GS, iPod touch G3, and form part of the A4 system-on-chip for the iPad -- add that to some whispers and we get the full on rumor that Apple is in talks to buy them out.

Here's where it gets really interesting -- ARM chips power a slew of other devices as well, including those running Android and Palm.

Rumors of Apple buying desktop chipmaker AMD were floated earlier in the week, so who knows what if anything is really going on here, but tying up a major mobile CPU maker and locker out your competition must hold a certain appeal for Apple (whose already a major licensor of ARM). With $41 billion in the bank, even the likely $8 billion price tag isn't out of the question.

We're doubting it at the moment, but what do you think? They've already bought PA Semi and may have bought ARM design company Intrisity, Google just bought Agnilux. Should Apple buy ARM outright?

[London Evening Standard via MacRumors]