Corroborating previous reports, The Calcalist said today that Apple has acquired Anobit, an Israeli flash storage company, for between $400 and $500 million. The company would be Apple's first acquisition in Israel, and may be part of a larger research and development project there. Neither Apple nor Anobit has confirmed the deal, but the Office of the Israeli Prime Minister has posted a Tweet congratulating Apple:
Welcome to Israel, Apple Inc. on your 1st acquisition here. I'm certain that you'll benefit from the fruit of the Israeli knowledge.— The PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) December 20, 2011
This purchase would better integrate Apple into the supply chain, and would let it get Anobit's storage-optimizing controller chips at cost — they're reportedly used in the iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air. There's also been speculation that Apple will use its resources to help Anobit develop its technology faster, or to stake out an advantage over fellow Anobit customer Samsung. Without an official statement, we'll have to wait to see what Apple has planned, but this is probably as close to confirmation as we're going to get.