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UPDATE 2-Imagination Tech shares plunge 69 pct as Apple abandons British firm

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LONDON, April 3 Shares in Imagination Tech crashed 69 percent on Monday after its biggest customer Apple said it would stop using the British firm's graphics technology in the iPhone and other products in up to two years' time.

Shares in Imagination, in which Apple holds an 8 percent stake, plunged to a seven and a half-year low.

Imagination said Apple, its biggest customer, was developing its own independent graphics processing chips, which would reduce its reliance on the company.

The technology group licenses its processing designs to Apple and receives a small royalty on every graphics chip used in a iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Imagination, however, said it doubted that Apple could go it alone without violating Imagination' patents, intellectual property and confidential information.

"This evidence has been requested by Imagination but Apple has declined to provide it," it said on Monday. It said that Apple's notification had triggered talks on alternative commercial arrangements for the current license and royalty agreement.

Apple paid Imagination license fees and royalties totalling 60.7 million pounds for the year to end-April 2016, half of its total revenue, and is expected to pay about 65 million pounds for this year, Imagination said.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)

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