Apple to buy flash drive company Anobit

Fruity cargo cult Apple has been shopping in the Promised Land and has its eyes on Israel’s Anobit, which makes flash storage technology.

Cupertino is thinking of writing a cheque for more than $500 million for the outfit, according to Calcalist financial daily.

Apple knows Anobit well. It came up with a chip to enhances flash drive performance through signal processing. The chip is already incorporated in Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad and the MacBook Air.

If the deal goes through, it would be one of Apple’s biggest and its first in Israel, Calcalist said. It is also one of Apple’s rare hardware purchases.

What is specifically interesting Apple is Anobit’s technology to increase and enhance the memory volume and performance of its devices without needing more RAM.

The outfit has key clients including Korean based Samsung and Hynix. We guess if Apple buys the company, then Samsung might have to go elsewhere, but Hynix recently become the main flash memory supplier for Apple’s iPhone 4S. Anobit’s chip is incorporated into Hynix’s flash drives.

It is not really clear why Apple needs to buy the company, after all it just needs to licence the technology for its equipment and that’s a lot easier than having to run it.

Our suspicion is that it is one of Apple’s control issues coming to the fore. With Anobit in-house, Apple can control who gets that particular technology, if anyone. Given Apple’s current spat with Samsung, it would put Apple in control of some rather innovative flash-drive memory patents which it could stop rivals from using.