In the last weeks of 2011, Apple announced that it was able to finalize the purchase of the Israeli flash memory company, Anobit. It seems as though companies like Apple and Google swallow up smaller companies at least once a month, but Anobit stands out. According to reports, Apple purchased Anobit for anywhere from $400 million to $500 million dollars, making it possibly the largest acquisition Apple has made. The news was first reported by Israeli news source, Calcalist, who revealed that the deal had been finalized on Tuesday, December 20, 2011.
The purchase of Anobit is certainly the largest acquisition Apple has made since 1997. At that time, Apple bought Next for a little more than $400 million. Interestingly, Next was the company that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs developed after leaving Apple. When Apple bought Next, they also regained Steve Jobs, who eventually reclaimed his CEO status. It was his innovative mind and creative leadership that brought popular Apple devices, like the iPod, iPhone and most recently, the iPad, to fruition.
One of the biggest innovations Steve Jobs and Apple created was the implementation of flash memory storage for mobile devices. Computers typically and traditionally work because of a spinning disc, called a hard drive. This technology was a huge advancement and incredibly powerful and impressive for its time, but there were some limiting flaws. If a computer is stationary, there is no real problem with a hard drive. However, with the introduction of laptop computers, the spinning hard drive became too vulnerable.
Laptops, or as we call them now, notebooks, are designed for portability. Apple noticed the limitations that traditional hard drives had with mobile computers and began working on more durable computer hardware. That is where flash memory storage came into play. We first saw the technology in the iPod, which developed into the iPhone and iPad. Now, flash memory is being used all over the computer industry as a lighter, more durable alternative to hard drives. Apple's acquisition of Anobit is just the next stage in the ever-evolving flash memory technology used in Apple devices and notebooks.
Anobit was founded in 2006 and has developed an impressive portfolio. The company has 95 patents and was able to raised $76 million in venture capital funding from Pitango Venture Capital and Battery Ventures, among others. Apple already uses some of Anobit's data storage technology, but clearly has bigger plans in mind. According to Anobit's website, the trademarked Memory Signal Processing technology is able to significantly improve the cost, performance and endurance of systems and products using flash storage.
Although Apple has yet to comment on its big purchase, the news is going over quite well in Israel. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to twitter, of all places, to comment on the deal. The tweet included a warm welcome to Apple, Inc. in doing business with Israeli companies. The tweet also stated that the Prime Minister is certain that Apple will benefit from the fruit of the Israeli knowledge.