Apple to buy flash chip maker Anobit for $500 million?

Disclaimer: Delving into Apple's business requires a hefty pinch of salt, okay? Good. Is Apple about to open that $84 billion war chest to make another one of its traditional flash-memory supply-chain land-grabs? Rumors from Reuters suggest it's planning to snap up Israeli outfit Anobit for $400 or $500 million. The outfit specializes in signal processing for the memory chips, increasing volume and performance, which you'll already find bolted onto the Samsung and Hynix flash drives inside the iPhone 4S. Whilst we're having a hard time believing Cupertino would buy a hardware maker (even P.A. Semi and Intrinsity were fabless designers), it seems a logical move from a company who probably see traditional HDDs as an evil to be eradicated from its simplistic designs. We've reached out for comment from the companies and we'll let you know if we get anything more substantial than the regular "no comment."

Update: The initial reports suggested that Anobit had production facilities, but it's since been clarified that the company is a fabless designer in the same vein as P.A. Semi and Intrinsity.