Apple Inc. is in talks to buy Anobit, an Israeli company that manufactures flash storage technology for somewhere between $400 to $500 million, according to a report published in the Israeli newspaper Calcalist on Tuesday.
Anobit supplies flash storage solutions for enterprise and mobile markets, based on its proprietary signal processing technology. The technology is designed to improve the speed and performance of flash storage systems. Chips manufactured by Anobit are already being used in Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad and the MacBook Air.
If the deal pushes through it would be one of the largest acquisitions by Apple to date. Although Apple rarely purchases hardware companies, acquiring Anobit makes sense since flash drives are an integral part of its devices.
Purchasing Anobit will also improve the flash memory of Apple devices. Since Apple is already using Anobit chips in its iPhone, iPad and MacBooks, Apple would want to control the technology that its best-selling devices are so reliant on. It's the same reason why Apple bought P.A. Semi in 2008 which helped develop the company's A4 and A5 mobile chips.
Anobit chips will also mean that the flash memory in Apple devices will be faster, last longer and double the capacity of the flash memory. There could be a 32 Gb iPhone in the future if this deal goes through.
Anobit was founded in 2006. It supplies its products to flash memory manufacturers such as Samsung and Hynix. Hynix is the main flash memory supplier for Apple's iPhone 4S.
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