Apple buys Israeli startup for $400m

Apple has finalised an acquisition deal for Israeli flash memory maker Anobit. The deal was widely reported by Israeli news services and is thought to be worth around US$400-million.

“The deal was closed on Friday and yesterday the company’s staff were notified,” business daily The Marker reported.

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“Anobit has developed flash controllers for devices which are reportedly already embedded in Apple’s iPads and iPhones,” Globes daily added.

Anobit was founded in 2006, and has 200 employees. The company claims its technology “significantly improves the endurance, performance and cost of flash storage products and systems”.

Globes reported that Apple was also about to set up a processor development centre in Israel but the planned project was unrelated to the Anobit deal.

Calcalist said, meanwhile, that Apple vice-president Ed Frank had recently visited Israel to discuss that project, to be located in the northern port city of Haifa.

Israel is a rapidly rising force in the tech world. According to George Gilder of the Discovery Institute, a technology research organisation in Seattle, the country is outperforming European and Asian states 10 to 100 times larger than it.

In 2007 it was reported that Israel passed Canada as the home of the most foreign companies on the technology-heavy NASDAQ index. Far more high-tech companies are launched per year in Israel than any country in Europe. “It seems an appetite for risk-taking is crucial, alongside strong institutions and ease in setting up new businesses. The two are bonded by an appetite for risk-taking and entrepreneurial thinking,” claims Business Journal’s William-Arthur Haynes.

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