Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

Summary: Apple confirms the acquisition of an Israeli flash memory startup reported last year; a deal that could serve as a deadly blow to Samsung's smartphone hardware.

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Apple has confirmed that it acquired Anobit, an Israeli startup that makes flash memory used in the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air.

Rumours of the acquisition first came to light in December after the news was reported by Israel's Calcalist business news site. Israel's prime minister's office acknowledged the purchase in a tweet on December 20th.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the purchase, but declined to offer a figure on how much the company was bought for. It was thought that the Cupertino-based technology giant paid in the region of $400 to $500 million for the company, however.

Besides Apple's acquisition of NeXT in 1997 for $404 million, the Anobit deal represents one of Apple's largest acquisitions to date. Apple acquired PA Semi in 2008 for $278 million, and Quattro Wireless in 2010 for $275 million, CNET highlights.

Apple is the largest buyer of NAND flash memory, as Bloomberg reports, accounting for around 23 percent of the market last quarter. Apple is thought to have an estimated 100 million iPad and iPhone devices on the market, with an 15 million iPads sold by March 2011, and over 70 million iPhones since its launch in June 2007.

The Israeli company said its memory signal processing technology uses propriety signal-processing algorithms and advanced error correction to improve reliability and performance specifications of its flash-memory hardware.

It is thought that Apple bought the startup company to gain access to its technology, and to boost chip memory and improve device reliability. With its purchase, it will bypass the need to turn to a third-party company for vital hardware pieces for its highly popular smartphone and tablet products.

But perhaps worryingly for Samsung -- an Anobit customer -- it may allow Apple to finally cut off the hand that feeds its main competitor's hardware.

Image source: CNET/iFixit)

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Topics: Tablets, Apple, Banking, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Processors

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16 comments
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  • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

    If they actually tried to hurt Samsung that way then they'd only be hurt worse in return. They still use quite a bit of Samsung hardware in their devices. If they cut off Samsung there's no reason to believe that Samsung won't finally cut Apple off. Lawsuits aren't enough to cut off a big source of revenue but having Apple kill off the flash storage for all its mobile devices would certainly raise the stakes.
    Ididar
    • Anobit is not the only supplier of flash memory

      In the world.
      baggins_z
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  • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

    Im sure Samsung will be alright, after all they make most of the other hardware in Apple's devices so I don't see them cutting them off, but its Apple so you never know what they will do after they get all emotional about Samsung being a success as of late!
    OhTheHumanity
    • I agree. Apple is many things,

      @OhTheHumanity
      but suicidal is not one of them.

      Besides, as someone above pointed out, Anobit is hardly the only supplier of flash memeory.
      William Farrel
  • Perhaps this is just a cleaver defensive move by Apple.

    After all when in a war with say China it would be worrisome if we purchased all our weapons from China. So maybe this is just one of many such purchases in Apple's future. Freeing them from any dependence on a competitor.

    Pagan jim
    anonymous
  • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

    Anobit doesn't make flash memory. It develops technology to manage flash memory. Apple will still buy flash memory from the existing providers. Samsung is the leader of this small group. Others include Toshiba/SanDisk, Intel/Micron, and Hynix.
    tmccorm
    • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

      @tmccorm - Kudos, you were the first to "get it!"
      Gr8Music
  • This won't really hurt Samsung...

    They'll just dissect the chips that Anobit's technology resides in and copy the Signal Processing Algorithms.
    grayforge
    • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

      @grayforge Of course you are joking, right? Copying algorithms, would result in another lawsuit, at the algorithms are more than likely patented...
      Rick_Kl
      • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

        @Rick_Kl
        Wouldn't Apple's acquisition of Anobit include the rights to it's flash managment technology? Otherwise what's the point?
        Tigertank
      • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

        @Rick_Kl

        I think you miss grayforge's point. The point is that many believe that Samaung copies many things their not supposed to, and if this is true, then they would probably just copy the Signal Proigessing Algorythms and home they either:
        a) don't get caught
        b) are too big and scary to challenge legally
        c) get just a slap on the wrist because their flash memory is too critical to government or national security to risk actual sanctions

        Reading comprehension FAIL
        eak2000
  • So Apple is buying another *fabless* semiconductor company...

    and it's all fine and dandy but who's gonna produce it as in *real* chip?<br><br>"deadly blow"?! Come on...
    Samic
    • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

      @Samic

      I've heard tell there's a little fab company called Globalfoundries that might just see this as an opportunity to get more business.
      eak2000
      • RE: Apple confirms Anobit acquisition: A strategic hit to Samsung?

        @eak2000 This is just another sensational click-bait article by Zack, which is unfortunate because I used to like to read some of his blogs. As of late, all he tries to do is smash Apple and start flame wars...It's sad, really sad :{
        T-Wrench
  • Apple's success mostly due to acquisitions of other companies

    Sounds like something that Apple would do. I wouldn't put anything past them. . . . as they're basically a company built on other companies innovations ~ rarely their own. Apple's success is due to calculated acquisitions of other companies..... then rebranding those software and hardware products as their own w/ the Apple logo. If you disagree ~ go do your homework.
    ptyson@...