Apple has quietly acquired Anobit, an Israeli flash memory design firm, costing the tech giant $500 million dollars, an acquisition which is its most expensive since Apple acquired Steve Jobs’s NeXT back in 1996. Apple used NeXT’s software developments to create the MAC OS X and, consequently, the iPhone OS. More importantly, the NeXT acquisition put Steve Jobs back in his role as Apple CEO. Anobit isn’t going to give us another Steve Jobs. It will, however, do the following five things…
Increase Battery Life
Both single-level and multi-level flash memory are efficient compared to DRAM storage which requires constant power. Anobit’s core speciality is increasing multi-level flash cell performance because multi-level has more storage density and is cheaper to manufacturer than its single-level flash counterpart. However, multi-level cells have very short life spans, which can only be increased by making the multi-level cells more reliable while using less battery life.
Increase Storage Capacity
Anobit specializes in Memory Signal Processing, which makes flash memory more reliable and efficient. The more “efficient” something is, the more oomph it can give you. Future iOS and MacBook Air devices will have more and more GB for storage and the pricing for that storage will go down. Seeing that ultra portable devices are already replacing PCs, it’s a safe bet that Apple’s $500 million buy will yield a fruitful investment.
Allow for Faster Access of Music and Video
The iPhone already accesses stored video and music quickly. Anobit will make sure that the media browsing experience is even more snappy.
Slim Down Products
Flash is a necessity in mobile electronics because mobile products such as the iPhone need as much storage in as little space as possible. Owning Anobit will allow Apple to further improve flash technology, allowing for slimmer and slimmer designs. Apple did not update the design of the iPhone 4S probably because it is working on flash technology that would allow for a reliable slim iPhone 5.
(Perhaps) Lower Prices
Apple already uses Anobit technology in the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air. Acquiring it means that it would have control over one of the most expensive pieces in its products: the flash storage. This acquisition allows Apple to maintain and perhaps lower prices on future iPhones, iPads, and laptops. Rather than paying Anobit a licensing fee for using its technology, it can keep its secrets all to itself and not have to share them with the onslaught of Android competition.
However, Apple may decide to keep prices as they are and simply maintain their already impressive profit margins.