Following reports that Apple was negotiating to buy the Israel-based flash memory technology company Anobit, word has surfaced that the two have signed a deal that cost the iPhone, iPad and Mac maker between US$400 million and $500 million.
As part of the purchase, Apple is apparently planning on opening a research and development center in Israel, according to Calcalist (translation).
Apple may have spent $500 million in Anobit purchase
Anobit is a chip design company, much like PA Semi — another company Apple purchased in 2006. The flash memory storage solutions Anobit designs have found their way into mobile devices and the enterprise market.
The company states that its Memory Signal Processing tech ” is comprised of proprietary signal processing algorithms combined with advanced error correction and innovative flash management schemes, resulting in a dramatic improvement in endurance, performance and system cost.”
While neither company is commenting on the rumored deal, the official Twitter account for the Prime Minister of Israel added a little validity to the reports by stating,
Welcome to Israel, Apple Inc. on your 1st acquisition here. I’m certain that you’ll benefit from the fruit of the Israeli knowledge.
The deal gives Apple direct control over the storage technology it uses in devices such as the iPhone and iPad, as well as the MacBook Air — all of which use solid state technology instead of traditional spinning hard drives for data storage. It also means Apple may be able to rely less on Samsung for flash memory.
Apple may well be looking to distance itself more from Samsung since the two are locked in an ongoing battle over patent infringement claims. Losing that business, however, would be bad news for Samsung since Apple is its single largest client.