News: Apple Did Buy Anobit Technologies

Posted on January 11, 2012

There were rumors back in December that Apple had acquired Anobit Technologies Ltd., an Israeli flash memory manufacturer, but nothing had been confirmed. Just last month, a site for a a Hebrew-language newspaper, claimed the deal had been finalized. Yesterday, Apple confirmed the acquisition through Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Some estimated that the sale went for as much as $500 million, but Apple kept quiet about the actual purchase price:

Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, said today that the purchase had been made, while declining to elaborate. The statement confirmed a December report from in the Israeli newspaper Cacalist.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Dowling said in a telephone interview.

The Anobit deal, whose cost Apple wouldn’t disclose, is the company’s first acquisition in Israel, where Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp. have established operations.

The acquisition helps Apple keep more manufacturing of parts for iPhones, iPads, iPods, and MacBook Airs in-house, much like the acquisition of PA Semiconductor four years ago and the acquisition of Intrinsity a little over a year ago. This time instead of processors, the focus is storage:

The deal helps Apple secure supplies of a key component for its top-selling devices. Anobit makes high-performance controllers used to optimize the memory capabilities inside products such as the iPhone and iPad. Apple is the world’s largest buyer of NAND flash memory, accounting for about 23 percent of consumption last quarter, according to a Jan. 6 report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

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