Based on profits posted Apple's ARM R&D is more than paying for itself, Apple brags about making about $500 in profit per iPhone sold and they sell something like 125 million of them a year, that alone is more than enough to keep their Apple silicon funded for a long time.I think Apple is cost cutting because the development of the Apple silicon wasn't cheap. They clearly could have done more. They did cost cut with the M2 256GB and M2 Pro 512GB SSD's for a reason. While Apple is a big player in the laptop market, they aren't that big. Not enough to justify the R&D they put into making their silicon. Also their CPU tech is mainly from ARM, which is in financial limbo in terms of bankruptcy and who's who in terms of buying them. Apple's GPU tech is Imaginations PowerVR tech reimagined. Which is now owned by the Chinese government. It's only going to get more expensive for Apple to compete against AMD and Intel. I said 3 years ago that AMD and Intel will catch up to Apple in efficiency, and this year they will. Maybe if Apple went 3nm and ARMv9 they'd still have the edge, but as far as I know the M2's are 5nm using ARMv8.
If ARM goes belly up, it's probably still going to be Nvidia who buys them, that or Apple, ARM China will get spun off on its own and cheap Android phones will be plentiful.
ARM v9 doesn't really add much aside from security features needed for servers, and it integrates a lot of features that make it more easily integrated into SoC packages, something Apple already did, it also adds more cache and changes the memory layout, to be more like how Apple redesigned theirs to be. ARMv9 basically just reverse engineers the work Apple already did for their silicon.
In terms of efficiency, I am still waiting to see any Intel or AMD product that does what an MBP does while only using a 45w peak draw. They have announced them sure, but we have only AMD's slide show and their promise that Microsoft has been working on integrating the features. And while I use Microsoft all day at work, I don't trust their ability to fry an egg let alone deliver good returns on a first-generation part with new features from a single vendor on a niche bit of silicon expecting moderate to low sales.