Apple buys Israeli technology firm Anobit

JERUSALEM Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:04am EST

The Apple Inc. logo is seen in the lobby of New York City's flagship Apple store January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar

The Apple Inc. logo is seen in the lobby of New York City's flagship Apple store January 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Apple said on Wednesday it had bought Israel's Anobit, a maker of flash storage technology whose chips it already uses in gadgets such as the iPad.

Israeli media reported on December 20 that Apple bought Anobit for as much as $500 million, its first acquisition of an Israeli company. Apple declined to comment at the time.

"Yes ... we did buy Anobit," Apple spokesman Alan Hely said in an e-mail to Reuters, declining to elaborate. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Anobit has developed a chip that enhances flash drive performance through signal processing. The chip is already incorporated in Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad and the MacBook Air.

The Calcalist financial daily reported last month that Apple, among one of the largest buyers of flash memory, was interested in Anobit's technology to increase and enhance the memory volume and performance of its devices. The chip may as much as double the memory volume in the new iPads and MacBooks.

Anobit has raised $76 million from Battery Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital and Intel Capital since it was founded in 2006.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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