It’s Official: Apple to Buy Flash Memory Firm Anobit For $500M

It’s Official: Apple to Buy Flash Memory Firm Anobit For $500M

Photo by Luisus Rasilvi - http://flic.kr/p/7DDGny

The rumor is now official: Apple, the world’s largest consumer of flash memory, has paid $500 million for consumer-grade flash memory maker Anobit. The move solidifies Apple’s supply of solid-state memory used by the iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBook Air. The half-billion dollar price tag tops the inflation-adjusted $472 million acquisition of NeXT back in 1997.

The deal is seen as giving Apple a key advantage over rivals. Not only do many Apple devices rely on flash memory for storage, the Isreaeli-based Anobit manufactures the sort of inexpensive MLC flash memory that can keep device costs down. In a perfect trifecta, the purchase gives Apple access to technology which improves MLC flash memory reliability – i.e., cheaper solid-state memory that is more reliable than other suppliers.

As computers grow faster and smaller, flash memory is increasingly seem an the answer. Anobit’s technology could turn flash memory’s main drawback – cost – into a positive for Apple. Anobit’s technology will also reduce another negative for flash memory: battery usage. In a sign of the importance Apple places on the deal, the tech giant reportedly will build a research center in Israel, the first outside the United States.

By purchasing Anobit, Apple could take a relatively nondescript industry and apply its Midas touch. While consumers thinking of a tablet or notebook would have to wonder about quality from some other flash memory vendor, buyers would flock to Apple flash memory endowed with the same halo that lifts other iProducts.

The Anobit purchase is likened to NeXT in size. However, the acquisition could also be compared by their landmark results. NeXT brought us Steve Jobs as CEO. The Anobit buy could give Apple another valuable resource for years to come.

  • WVMikeP

    Lower prices for consumers and higher profits…

    What I think this will do is force the issue when it comes to SSD drives as the standard moving forward for computers and Apple will have the edge in economic terms. ┬áThe Acers, HPs, Dells, etc. will be hard pressed to match Apple’s price+quality+design combination.

  • taylerz

    Flash is the future. Not only is Apple making the Israeli acquisition of 64 patents, they also plan to open a R&D center there. This tells me Apple sees the potential for even greater technological advances in Flash via Anobit. And that will leave competitors gasping for Air.

  • Shaun Green

    Apple uses slave labour in China to build its products, now it’s investing in apartheid Israel. Clearly they have no conscience, only a lust for money at all costs. Apple has become everything I despise about 21st century corporate greed.

  • Neil_Jones

    I bet this doesn’t mean the memory upgrade when buying a mac will be any cheaper!

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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