An Apple executive has confirmed that the company has bought Anobit, an Israeli firm that produces flash memory controllers.

The deal was reported to have taken place in December last year but Apple spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed the purchase to Businessweek in an interview.

However, Dowling didn't give any further details of the terms of the deal, saying: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

The comment is perhaps a touch disingenuous - after all, it is the most significant purchase since it bought NeXT in 1996 - and with Apple's increasing reliance on NAND flash technology the move is expected to put the company in a strong position to continue to dominate the mobile computing sphere.

Apple's purchase of Anobit would give it a leg up on rivals

Anobit produces flash memory controllers that improves the performance and volume of flash memory, some of which is already used in product lines including the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air.