Rumor: Apple in talks to buy Israeli flash memory chip maker Anobit

People have been wondering what should Apple do with its cash hoard since the dawn of time and the company’s silence on the matter has only fueled speculation and increased pressure on the new CEO to pay a cash dividend, which they had stopped doing in 1995. If TechCrunch is to be believed, which relayed a Calcalist report in Hebrew, Apple is going to spend between $400 and $500 million to acquire Anobit, a fabless flash memory chip maker based in Israel.

To put this in perspective, the Anobit acquisition would be bigger than any since the 1997 purchase of NeXT for $404 million that brought back Steve Jobs. Anobit specializes in flash storage solutions for enterprise and mobile markets and making them cheap and reliable using its proprietary MSP technology (which stands for ‘Memory Signal Processing’). MSP lets Anobit engineer more reliable flash memory chips with significantly longer usable life.

Anobit’s list of clients isn’t public, but the Calcalist report claims Apple is a client:

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iSuppli: Teardown reveals 16GB iPhone 4S carries $188 BOM

As always, the guys over at IHS iSuppli have just published analysis of their iPhone 4S teardown showing a BOM of $188 for the 16GB and in the process revealing some previously undisclosed suppliers.

The $188 BOM is of course for the entry-level 16GB model, which would also inflate to $196 if factoring in an $8 manufacturing cost. BOM for the 32GB model comes in at $207 (again, before manufacturing), and $245 for the 64GB variant.

The report describes the 4S’s insides as including a “wealth of innovation”, in contrast to the device’s feature set which was received as an incremental upgrade by most. Among the suprises revealed during the teardown– NAND flash memory supplied by Hynix Semiconductor (a first for iPhone) and a “unique custom” wireless module from Avago Technologies Ltd.  The device torn down by iSuppli carried the same sony Sensor as the device X-Rayed by Chipworks but they postulate that Omnivision may also provide an 8-megapixel sensor as well for some of the devices.

Senior director of teardown services for IHS, Andrew Rassweiler, explains: Read more