Apple acquires flash memory company Anobit

Apple confirmed it has acquired flash memory parts maker Anobit. The company is based in Israel and has been vital in making flash storage for devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The acquisition will help Apple in the long-run with its clear shift toward an all-flash future — flash storage, that is.

As one familiar with Apple might expect, Steve Dowling, spokesperson for the company, wouldn’t go into detail about the plans or goals for the Anobit acquisition. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” was the best Dowling offered.

According to a report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Apple is the world’s largest NAND flash memory customer, capturing 23 percent of the share. All of Apple’s most popular devices run on flash memory. The iPhone, iPad, and iPod line have been shipping with it for years. As of 2010, the MacBook Air joined Apple’s family of flash storage-based devices as well. It’s significantly more expensive than regular hard drives, but flash is way faster and almost always silent.

One benefit of the Anobit acquisition might be to help Apple keep up with demand for its iOS devices. The iPhone 4, iPad 2, and iPhone 4S all saw major shipping delays immediately after they debuted. In fact, it’s still a challenge to get your hands on a 4S. Apple’s additional control over the flash memory parts could potentially help ramp up the production process in the future.

[via BusinessWeek]

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