Apple Confirms Acquisition of Israeli Flash Memory Firm Anobit [Updated]

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Bloomberg reports that Apple has confirmed last month's news from Israel that the company had acquired flash memory firm Anobit. The confirmation came in the form of Apple's standard boilerplate statement used in addressing acquisitions, and did not include details on the purchase or Apple's plans for the company.
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.
Apple reportedly paid $400-500 million for Anobit, but neither Apple nor Anobit has confirmed the purchase price.

The report notes that Anobit is currently responsible for a key flash memory controller for the iPad and iPhone, and Apple likely opted to bring the company's expertise in house in order to draw more heavily on the Anobit's expertise, increase efficiencies, and exert greater control over a component important to the functionality of iOS devices.

Update: Bloomberg reports that Apple paid about $390 million for Anobit in a deal that was not finalized until January 6.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) acquired Anobit Technologies Ltd. for about $390 million, paying below the price sought by the Israeli maker of a flash-memory drive part for the iPhone, people familiar with the purchase said.

Negotiations continued for more than two weeks after Israel's Calcalist newspaper reported Dec. 20 that Apple bought Herzliya-based Anobit for as much as $500 million. Apple finally signed the agreement Jan. 6 to buy the Israeli company, according to two Anobit shareholders, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Apple didn't want details disclosed.
Article Link: Apple Confirms Acquisition of Israeli Flash Memory Firm Anobit [Updated]
 

george-brooks

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2011
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I think this means that apple has a true desire to make all of their products flash based - and only flash based - in the coming years. Hopefully this will mean that we will start to see larger capacities at smaller prices, but I hope that Apple doesn't take a cue from the MB Air and start to install flash memory on the motherboard. Hopefully this isn't another step in Apple's attempt to make a machine that is completely closed for the user.
 

SPEEDwithJJ

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Nov 2, 2008
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Nice. I assume we can expect future iPad, iPhone, & iPod generations to come in 128GB & even 256GB models! :eek: I'm already drooling at the thought of such massive built-in storage capacity in iOS devices. :eek:
 

pgiguere1

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May 28, 2009
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I think this means that apple has a true desire to make all of their products flash based - and only flash based - in the coming years. Hopefully this will mean that we will start to see larger capacities at smaller prices, but I hope that Apple doesn't take a cue from the MB Air and start to install flash memory on the motherboard. Hopefully this isn't another step in Apple's attempt to make a machine that is completely closed for the user.
If I'm not mistaken, only the RAM is soldered to the motherboard on the current MBA and the SSD is still user replaceable.
 

SPEEDwithJJ

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Nov 2, 2008
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If I'm not mistaken, only the RAM is soldered to the motherboard on the current MBA and the SSD is still user replaceable.
True, but if the MBA goes any thinner in the next generations, it may probably be logical for the SSD to be soldered onto the motherboard as well, just so that they can achieve the desired thinness. :)
 

cvaldes

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Pretty soon Apple is going to make all their components themselves.

Good move Apple.
They won't make them, however they may end up designing a lot of custom components. Anobit -- like P.A. Semi and Intrinsity -- is a fabless design firm. The actual manufacturing (fabrication) is handled by someone else.

I'm a tad surprised that Apple hasn't made a move to acquiring Imagination Technologies (who provides the graphics design for their handheld chips), but perhaps there's more competition in that space and such an investment would be a far riskier gamble.
 

mdriftmeyer

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Feb 2, 2004
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You would think with the amount of cash they have, they would purchase more than just 'a few' small business'.
Apple buys companies that they see can add value to penetrating new markets and growing mature markets without adding heavy overhead and debt taken on by larger acquisitions.

Sorry, but you want to buy out Kodak? Go right ahead. It's a dump full of debt with very little useful IP.

There is a good 50 large corporations in similar shape. Have at them.
 

george-brooks

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Oct 31, 2011
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If I'm not mistaken, only the RAM is soldered to the motherboard on the current MBA and the SSD is still user replaceable.
It is, but not with anything widely commercially available. OWC sells a few expensive replacements for the previous model. It is starting to feel like Apple is limiting our choices even more.
 

cvaldes

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Apple is very deliberate about how it spends its cash. P.A. Semi, Intrinsity, Siri, Anobit, some 3D mapping company whose name I can't recall at this moment.

They bought some Nortel patents, but not the company itself.
 

ericinboston

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Jan 13, 2008
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Perhaps Apple bought them for any of the following reasons:

1)So Apple can own a Flash Memory company and be able to confirm it can produce the quantity it needs WHILE ALSO keeping Apple competitors away from buying that flash memory (I'm sure there are lots of flash memory companies, but hey, 1 less makes it that more expensive/competitive out there for non-Apple folks)

2)So Apple can "buy" the flash memory for years to come at a much cheaper rate than on the open market.

3)So Apple can have insight and input into specs and design the memory as they see fit.

$300 million is a drop in the bucket for Apple...or any other large multi-billion dollar company (Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, IBM, Toshiba, Dell, etc.). It's an inexpensive investment that can be leveraged a lot of different ways.
 

faroZ06

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2009
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You would think with the amount of cash they have, they would purchase more than just 'a few' small business'.
Unlike Google and Microsoft, they don't need to buy very many things out because they are creative. Microsoft, for instance, bought Office from another company. Google bought Motorola Mobility.

----------

=1)So Apple can own a Flash Memory company and be able to confirm it can produce the quantity it needs WHILE ALSO keeping Apple competitors away from buying that flash memory (I'm sure there are lots of flash memory companies, but hey, 1 less makes it that more expensive/competitive out there for non-Apple folks)
That is antitrust, and they'd be sued. Samsung, a company trying to beat Apple in the smartphone and tablet market (but failing), is selling Apple retina displays, FYI.

----------

That's the difference between being smart with money and being a debt-laden moron who spends everything the minute it comes in.
Like the "99%". Way more than 1% of Americans buy smartphones and pay the expensive plans for them, and they are luxury items. Not to mention the MacBook Pros, luxury cars, big TVs, and other stuff they spend big on.
 

cvaldes

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Unlike Google and Microsoft, they don't need to buy very many things out because they are creative. Microsoft, for instance, bought Office from another company. Google bought Motorola Mobility.
Heck, Microsoft itself was purchased from another company.

Mrs. Gates (Billy's mom) basically bought her trust fund baby a computer company that wrote the precursor to PC-DOS. Not only that, from her charity activities (she was from one of Seattle's oldest banking families), she knew someone who sat on IBM's board of directors and got Big Blue to look at Sonny Boy's operating system (which would eventually become the primary OS of the IBM PC).

Well, Junior took the ball and ran with it until the EU and US DOJ started poking around for antitrust practices. Mama Gates told Sonny Boy to loosen the purse strings, not be such a tightwad. By this time, he was wise enough to listen to Mom and she was the initial executive director of the Gates Foundation.

Bill Gates is a very important philanthropist, but let's not hide anything. Microsoft had a chance because his mom made some very strategic moves early in her son's professional endeavors.
 
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Apple...

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This is now Apple's largest acquisition, ousting NeXT. Huh. ;)
 

alksion

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Sep 10, 2010
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Flash memory being desktop SSD's and not just mobile flash correct?
Also, when do you think they would start implementing these into their iMac line? 1-3 years?
 

ericinboston

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
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Heck, Microsoft itself was purchased from another company.

Mrs. Gates (Billy's mom) basically bought her trust fund baby a computer company that wrote the precursor to PC-DOS. Not only that, from her charity activities (she was from one of Seattle's oldest banking families), she knew someone who sat on IBM's board of directors and got Big Blue to look at Sonny Boy's operating system (which would eventually become the primary OS of the IBM PC)...<blah blah blah blah blah blah blah removed by Eric>

Nice story. Too bad it has absolutely nothing to do with the person you quoted...or this topic.

Besides, sounds like you're bitter that a company 30+ years ago was helped founded by a friend of a friend. Gee....that's never happened in the history of mankind. Ever hear the phrase, "it's who you know...not what you know?" That phrase is probably applicable to 100% of every company "starting up". You can have the coolest invention in the history of the world, but you have to start SOMEWHERE with SOMEONE to listen and invest in your company.
 

cvaldes

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Dec 14, 2006
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Nice story. Too bad it has absolutely nothing to do with the person you quoted...or this topic.

Besides, sounds like you're bitter that a company 30+ years ago was helped founded by a friend of a friend. Gee....that's never happened in the history of mankind. Ever hear the phrase, "it's who you know...not what you know?" That phrase is probably applicable to 100% of every company "starting up". You can have the coolest invention in the history of the world, but you have to start SOMEWHERE with SOMEONE to listen and invest in your company.
Uh, no.

The point is that Microsoft was built by acquiring another company. That's totally relevant to the topic, particularly because the commentor I was replying to was talking about Office which didn't exist at the time of Microsoft's founding. Office is a hodgepodge pieced together from code mostly purchased from outside sources (which actually provided the better components, like Excel).

I have no bitterness about Microsoft/Gates success. Why should I? It's not like I was shut out of deal because Mama Gates stepped in and showed me my hat. A s a matter of fact, I was actually quite complimentary of Bill's more recent endeavors. Heck, most of my jobs have come because I knew somebody. I never said that having connections was a BAD thing.

I was just pointing out that Microsoft wasn't built from scratch. Far from that.

I don't work in high tech anymore. Money isn't the only great thing in life. I make far less today than I would have had I stuck in high tech, but that was my deliberate choice.

In any case, I make more the 99.9% of the people on this planet, even if I don't make the median income for a college-educated American of my age.

YOU are the one who needs an attitude adjustment.