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Apple Buys Israeli Flash Manufacturer

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the gotta-buy-em-all dept.

Businesses 114

Lucas123 writes "According to published reports Apple is plunking down up to $500 million to purchase solid-state drive start-up Anobit Technologies. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted about the deal congratulating Apple on its first acquisition in his country. Apple is planning to use the acquisition to set up to set up a semiconductor development center in Israel. Apple already uses NAND flash from Anobit in its iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air products, according to the reports."

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Vertical Integration (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449432)

Good to see some good ol' vertical integration still going on out there.

Re:Vertical Integration (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449690)

Seems likely to me that Apple has had enough of crappy SSD controllers causing problems on its notebooks (especially the Air) and wants to finally get it done right. It could also be a competitive advantage to be the company with the best drive controllers.

Re:Vertical Integration (2)

dwightk (415372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450772)

They are already using this tech in the Air, and iOS devices

(I read somewhere)

Re:Vertical Integration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450914)

Could you tell us more about SSD controller problems?

Thanks.

Re:Vertical Integration (3, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451260)

Poor bad block management causing slowdowns over time even if you have trim enabled. Also stuttering during write operations. It was a huge problem on the first generation Airs.

Re:Vertical Integration (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455156)

Poor bad block management causing slowdowns over time even if you have trim enabled. Also stuttering during write operations. It was a huge problem on the first generation Airs.

The first generation Airs used hard drives, not SSDs. There was an SSD option, but it cost $1000 to go from an 80GB HDD to a 64GB SSD.

Apple never used the SSD controllers which had stutter problems etc. They've always done a lot more storage qualification than your average bear, so they waited out the bad early problems and worked with vendors to get controller/firmware combos qualified before hopping in the pool.

This acquisition is not about Macs. Apple doesn't need to make its own standalone high-performance SSD controller. Other companies are doing that job just fine for them. Apple has no value to add, and Apple doesn't want to become a chip supplier to other companies (their internal volumes aren't enough to justify developing their own chip just to ship in Macs).

What it is about is the iPad and iPhone. These are highly integrated designs where most functions, including the flash storage controller, are integrated into one SoC, which Apple designs. That SoC contains a mix of Apple-owned and third party intellectual property cores, but Apple has been moving to bring more and more of that IP in house so that they get unique advantages. A more sophisticated flash storage controller core which lets them take advantage of lower grade flash media without compromising reliability is a good example.

(where by lower grade I don't mean that they plan to ship crap, more that as flash memory gains capacity its reliability at remembering what you wrote to it is falling off a cliff, especially with 3 bits per cell MLC NAND, so where cellphones could get away with less sophisticated flash controllers before, they won't be able to in the future.)

Re:Vertical Integration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449700)

Yes, but then Apple will have to start building new fab plants as the tech becomes obsolete. There's a reason why most companies, like Apple, buy all their tech from elsewhere. It costs a bloody fortune to cycle plant tech, and the reason why we have so few players. It cost billions to build the buggers.

Re:Vertical Integration (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449944)

why not fabless?

Re:Vertical Integration (2)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450180)

Anobit is fabless. I can't find out who actually fabs for them, but they don't have a fab.

Re:Vertical Integration (4, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450184)

Yes, but then Apple will have to start building new fab plants as the tech becomes obsolete. There's a reason why most companies, like Apple, buy all their tech from elsewhere. It costs a bloody fortune to cycle plant tech, and the reason why we have so few players. It cost billions to build the buggers.

Well, Apple has the billions to spend, and this way, they can take the technology in the direction they want to go, instead of having to go the way the SS industry decides to go. Fabulous decision, IMHO.

Re:Vertical Integration (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450214)

Yes, but then Apple will have to start building new fab plants as the tech becomes obsolete.

Yeah, I'm not sure it would make sense for Apple to buy an entire fab unless they were using 100% of the capacity of one of their suppliers. Then they are paying for fab upgrades one way or another - either through the cost of the sub-contracted parts or directly in their own fab.

Why 3rd degree removed from the task? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449522)

- develop semiconductors? no.
- set up a semiconductor development center? no.
- set up to set up a semiconductor development center? yes!

Re:Why 3rd degree removed from the task? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449598)

Someone set up us the semicondutor development centre.

Re:Why 3rd degree removed from the task? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449972)

Somebody set up us the bomb.

Is this the trend? (4, Interesting)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449634)

First they just opened a new factory in Texas, now in Israel, both out of China (in case you did not read the fine print), so, is this the new trend now? No more "cheap" chips? Or maybe they are becoming too expensive? Or maybe Apple knows something that we don't? Like, China is friend no more.....

Huh? (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449696)

China doesn't tend to make things like chips. Those are almost all made somewhere else. China is more of a "final assembly" kind of space. You send them over the parts, they build the final product for cheap.

Re:Huh? (-1, Troll)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449876)

You mean it's not made by Apple in California?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450058)

You mean it's not made by Apple in California?

That's correct. It's Designed by Apple in California.

Re:Huh? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450106)

That's why it says "Designed by Apple in California" on Apple products.

Re:Huh? (4, Interesting)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449988)

Usually What's outsourced to China is anything that requires manual labor. If you need people to do it, and said people don't need to be engineers, then there's a good chance that you'd get the most bang for your buck in China.

This is quickly changing, however. Chinese companies are establishing themselves as brands, and they themselves are using up the workforce. The pendulum is starting to shift the other way -- Chinese companies are setting up "beachheads" in Europe, and are even outsourcing jobs to cheaper countries.

Re:Huh? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450266)

you'd get the most bang for your buck in China

Well, until we can re-legalize slavery in the U.S.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450496)

Well, until we can re-legalize slavery in the U.S.

That would never go over, with slaves you have to pay for their food, for their clothing, for their medical care, and for their housing.

Paying someone minimum wage is way cheaper than slave labor.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451166)

Paying workers a minimum wage is cheaper and more efficient than keeping slaves in the proper sense. Just as forming large multi-national corporations to open factories in third world countries or to mine their resources for them is cheaper and more efficient than taking over said countries.

Re:Huh? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452328)

Best when you can get a bunch of the wage back when the workers pay you for housing and food.

Re:Huh? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452432)

Best when you can get a bunch of the wage back when the workers pay you for housing and food

Bonus points for paying them in a currency only redeemable at company stores.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck_system [wikipedia.org]

Re:Huh? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453426)

Africa countries, actually. This is why they are building large infrastructure projects in African countries that have large mineral wealth. Specifically copper.

Re:Huh? (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450248)

China doesn't tend to make things like chips. Those are almost all made somewhere else

Yes it does. Look up SMIC, one of the larger semiconductor fab companies in the world, making other people's designs.

Re:Huh? (5, Funny)

fotoflojoe (982885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450892)

China doesn't tend to make things like chips. Those are almost all made somewhere else

Yes it does. Look up SMIC, one of the larger semiconductor fab companies in the world, making other people's designs.

Are those other people aware of that fact?

Re:Huh? (2)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451020)

Since the other people are paying lots of money to do so, they certainly do. I work for a fabless semiconductor company, whose current chip is being manufactured by SMIC. It costs many hundreds of thousands of dollars to get them to make out chips.

Re:Huh? (1)

fotoflojoe (982885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451578)

Whoosh!

Re:Huh? (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38454614)

You said "design" - your "joke" doesn't work that way.

Re:Huh? (1)

wavedeform (561378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452732)

I wish I had mod points. +1 funny

No they aren't (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452182)

They are the biggest in China, but that isn't saying much. You want big? Look at TSMC, who's IP SMIC ripped off. It's also only older tech. 45nm is the smallest they do. That's fine, but not for cutting edge products.

Plus while there's a decent market in fabs-for-order, there's a massive market in semi-conductor companies that fab their own stuff. Intel, IBM, TI, Samsung, and so on all fab their own stuff in whole or in part.

China is not big in the chips industry, at all. They do some, but nothing compared to the US or Taiwan.

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451882)

China doesn't tend to make things like chips. Those are almost all made somewhere else. China is more of a "final assembly" kind of space. You send them over the parts, they build the final product for cheap.

My guess is that China thinks they do. Seeing as they believe Taiwan is still a part of China. I still think it's hilarious the West even calls it Taiwan when China calls it properly Taipei.

Re:Huh? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455188)

There are plenty of chip assembly plants in China, looking at the PCB in front of me now, I see 3 out of 6 ICs on the board have "China" printed on them, the other 3 don't say any country's name so could be made anywhere. What they may not be doing much of in China of is wafer fabrication - this generally requires higher tech factories, and tends to be kept in US, Europe and Japan where the risk of leaks is lower.

Re:Is this the trend? (2)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449970)

Apple didn't open a factory in Texas, if you are talking about Samsung manufacturing chips for Apple in Texas, that plant was built in 1996.

Re:Is this the trend? (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452430)

Shhh! The plant didn't really open until it started making Apple products

(There goes my karma...)

IP Related move? (4, Insightful)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449664)

Coupled with their ARM CPU developments, I think Apple is attempting to remove their dependency on component makers such as Samsung (or at least gain some IP to use as leverage). I wouldn't be surprised if Apple starts some Flash-related patent wars in a few more years.

Re:IP Related move? (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450204)

I think you have a good point there. Samsung gets a lot of business from Apple as a supplier of flash chips. And yet at the same time they are ripping off Apple's device designs. Apple must be quite keen to ditch them as a supplier as soon as is possible.

Re:IP Related move? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455276)

I think you have a good point there. Samsung gets a lot of business from Apple as a supplier of flash chips. And yet at the same time they are ripping off Apple's device designs. Apple must be quite keen to ditch them as a supplier as soon as is possible.

Samsung supplies Apple with flash memory. Apple just bought a flash controller company. These are very different things. This move has no implications for Apple's relationship with Samsung.

Also, the thing about Samsung is that they're a giant megacorp, but that doesn't mean they're as monolithic as some think. Each business unit (and the boss thereof) has its own bottom line to worry about, and is not going to sacrifice it to help another unit. So if their mobile phone division wants their semiconductor division to start screwing over Apple, the semiconductor division is going to look at how much of their production would go idle if Apple went away and tell the mobile phone guys to go fly a kite.

(It's a codependent relationship -- Apple is consuming so much of Samsung's logic and memory production capacity that Apple cannot switch to a different supplier very quickly, because there isn't anyone with that much idle capacity, and Samsung can't afford for that much of their capacity to go idle.)

Re:IP Related move? (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455640)

Arm and memory controllers speaks more to Apple competing with Intel than Samsung.

Re:IP Related move? (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450270)

But their ARMs are fabbed for them by Samsung.

They are not a manufacterer (5, Informative)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449730)

They design, they don't fab. Just like PA Semi which Apple bought earlier. Apple designs products and product components but then outsources their manufacture. They aren't interested (so far) in owning fabrication plants. They can be more agile if they can switch manufacturers as their requirements change.

Ha HA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449776)

Instant spy network created in US.

Damn Apple and its unbridled success (5, Funny)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449836)

As a typical open source advocated, I am shaking my fist in anger at how successful Apple is with its proprietary technology. Why are people giving that company money when they could be using a Linux machine and playing Tux Racer instead of stupid Angry Birds??? What makes me more mad is that I've been practicing being irate at Microsoft for so long that when Apple suddenly rushed to success overnight, it's made me angry that I did nothing with my life during the 2000s except comb my exquisite neckbeard and ponytail. Doesn't Apple know that it could make more money by giving away its software and hardware for free and then charge for services? SO ANGRY RIGHT NOW AT OTHER PEOPLE'S SUCCESS. GRRRR! Everyone on Slashdot is with me, right? All together now: GRRRR!

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449942)

because most people are sheep. gone are the days of knowing how to navigate a command prompt let alone knowing what one is. like a baby, give them something shiny that makes noise and they're satiated.

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450148)

like a non-geek, give them something that lets them get work done with minimal annoyance and they're satiated.

There, FTFY. HTH.

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450360)

That's why I use linux, so I can feel superior to those losers and their pretty GUIs.

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451548)

That's why I use OS X. /bin/bash FTW!

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (4, Funny)

marklark (39287) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450468)

GRRRR! :^)

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (2)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451998)

GIRRRL! :^D

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451432)

Apple uses a mix of closed and open source wares. Come to think of it, so do I on my Linux box (vmware workstation, flash, windows codecs, nvidia driver). I'd rather they all be open source, but things are working well enough. I don't have a religious rage that theings aren't 100% the way I wish they were. Of course, you have proprietary softwares in your computer too (bios, embedded roms, etc.) and in many of your household appliances and vehicles.

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (2)

wavedeform (561378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452820)

I can't hear the replies, the whooshing sound it too loud.

Re:Damn Apple and its unbridled success (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453804)

Mach is open, the userland tools are all open, and Darwin was open for a while, though nobody demonstrated any interest in it.

OSX is like having a Linux desktop without the Linux issues, and Apple embraces open technologies and follows standards whenever possible, which in some cases is actually more than Linux does (SUS and POSIX compliance, for example).

This might not be good (2)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449856)

Weren't Anobit the folks who developed the technology to make MLC flash work reliably? That's going to become critically important as people increase the density of the arrays (for SSD drives etc) - and from the way Apple has been behaving recently, I'm not sure they'd be willing to share it with Intel, Sandisk and so on.

Re:This might not be good (2)

the person standing (1134789) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450292)

Anobit also owns a bunch of patents [faqs.org] which might fit well for a new bunch of patent lawsuits

Re:This might not be good (1)

rotorbudd (1242864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450680)

Now we know the real reason for the purchase.

Re:This might not be good (1)

Dude_here (460532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450372)

Why should they share their IP? They bought it, they can do with it as they please.

Re:This might not be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451374)

And not make more money? Are you mad? Wonder if their patents will carry the premium that all their other products do?

This probably does two things. Shore up a hedge against Samsung (who has turned on them in a big way), and secure a good steady flow of chips for just them... Samsung turned on them both supply wise and competition wise. They were Apples largest supplier of flash chips. It probably also lets them hide tax in a game of corporate shell games and minimize tax liability. Then turn around get a cut of your competitions sale price is just gravy...

At least... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449868)

At least they bought an Israeli Flash company and not Adobe, amirite?

(Thank you, I'm here all week.)

Re:At least... (1)

Annorax (242484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451038)

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! That hurt!

Re:At least... (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451458)

wouldn't it be cheaper to hire domestic flashers from the ranks of the homeless and give them overcoats or raincoats? or do they want to insure their flashers all have circumcised peckers when they expose themselves?

More patents (4, Insightful)

james_van (2241758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450012)

Good move on Apple's part- buy the developer and retain the patents for anything new and novel coming out of there, but continue to outsource the fabrication. It's everything that was good about vertical integration, minus the bad (costs of retooling, slow response times). Couple this with locked in deals with manufacturers and Apple is setting itself up for an even stronger market domination. Say what you want about them (evil, controlling, walled-garden, doo-doo heads), they're not stupid over there. And keep in mind, the company is now run by the guy who was in charge of the supply chain. We're gonna be hearing alot more stories like this in the near future. Love them or hate them, Apple is running their business very very right.

Supporting opressive regimes again? (-1, Troll)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450162)

With China, you can almost forgive them. Try to mass-manufacture a shiny without involving the chinese these days... But Israel? Come on. You can find that tech other places too.

Re:Supporting opressive regimes again? (-1, Flamebait)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450896)

I've been to Israel. Israel has citizens which go on murderous rampages and yet the group to which these filth belong are not persecuted in any way, shape or form. In what way can Israel's regime be considered oppressive?

Re:Supporting opressive regimes again? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451318)

Israel is engaged in a decades long ethnic cleansing program. They are taking by force as much land/water as possible with as few non-Jews as possible, using the law of occupation as cover. Millions of people have not been allowed to return to their homes for the simple fact that they are not Jewish. Millions of people live under Israel's boot heel but don't get to vote for the government that actually controls their lives. With separate legal systems and even roads for "settlers" and for the natives, it sure looks a lot like apartheid. They are denying food to over a million people in Gaza and are literally counting their calories in an attempt to make life as miserable as possible for them without actually starving them to death. They have repeatedly destroyed power plants and people's capacity to produce food. Israel's cabinet has repeatedly expressed in public that their goal is to punish the entire population for the actions of a few, another crime against humanity.

Bomb them both off the map (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451640)

Palestinians and Israelis both. Cleanse the entire Levant, from Turkey to Egypt, from the Mediterranean to the Golan Heights, with neutron bombs and wipe out every last man, woman, and child who's Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese, or unlucky enough to be there. Kill them ALL. That's the only proven, real-world, efficient way to solve the Middle East issue.

On second thought, both sides could try to forgive each other their sins and those of their fathers, and attempt to move forward together as an example of how the Children of Abraham can overcome their differences and be a light to the world.

Nah... kill 'em all. Let Yahweh/Allah sort them all out afterwards. Then we wouldn't have to listen to them whine about each other anymore.

Supporting opressive regimes again? (-1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450226)

With the chinese, well... Try to mass-produce a shiny without them these days... But Israel? come on! That tech can be found other places!

but.... (2)

sirber (891722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450262)

Apple doesn't support Flash! ;)

Anobit doesn't make NAND flash (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450310)

Not even as a fabless designer. So no, Apple doesn't use NAND flash from Anobit in any current devices.

Anobit makes NAND flash technology. Apple uses NAND which sues some of this technology in their current devices.

Additionally, I work with NAND engineers at Apple every day and so far they all deny this acquisition is even happening. They might be lying to me, as that is part of what secrecy is, but so far it looks like the deal isn't real.

Adding to the suspicion that this might not be true is that this whole thing looks like a PR move for Israel, to try to make (or further) a case for their country as an R&D location. One difficulty with that whole angle is that Netanyahu says this is Apple's first overseas engineering/R&D center but they have had one at 7 Place d'Léna in Paris for 4-5 years and I suspect they have others too.

Re:Anobit doesn't make NAND flash (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451352)

Apple uses NAND which sues some of this technology

Freudian slip much? ;)

Re:Anobit doesn't make NAND flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455168)

I find that you best take Israeli "breakthroughs" with the bullshit filtering turned way up.
The linked slashdot piece from June/2010 is one schizophrenic, explosion of buzzword firecracker.
Increase in noise tolerance somehow translates to some 15X increase in program/erase cycle longevity (fancy that, once the physical memory begins to deteriorate, being able to tolerate noise only means you'd be able to read the corrupt data perfectly).
Another word, didn't past the bullshit test.
And of course Anobit is THE word on the lips of every computer geek, one-an-a-half years on.
And agree it's probably Israeli PR working overtime.

Apple likes walls and so does Israel (0, Troll)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450512)

n/t

Misread the subject (2)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450594)

I don't know why, but I misread the subject as:

Apple Buys Israeli Flesh Manufacturer

Re:Misread the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450784)

You must be thinking about Germany [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:Misread the subject (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451974)

Given the way the Israelis cut up the genitalia of their infants, that wouldn't be very surprising.

Re:Misread the subject (1)

oreiasecaman (2466136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453068)

sure it would be an important step towards iPeople, wouldn't it!

Further soiling Apple's name (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450938)

Investing in a regime that has WMDs, with a long history of ethnic cleansing, and brutal racism, doesn't seem like a good move to enhance one's reputation.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (1)

james_van (2241758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451216)

you talking about china or isreal?

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451350)

Yes

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451656)

yes, the should have kept their business here in the US.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451694)

Well, don't buy Apple then. Don't get any Microsoft operating systems either. No intel chips. Or AMD ones as of a few months ago. IBM, out of the question too.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (4, Informative)

WorldPiece (2462300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451994)

Dear Mr. Coward, Where do you get this information? As an Israeli, who has served in the army, who votes in democratic elections and is able to criticize his government freely, who shares his cubicle at work with an Israeli Arab, who also enjoys civil rights and liberties and votes for his representatives, and as a Jew who carries the stain of history on his family's story, please tell me where is this ethnic cleansing you speak of? There is nothing I would rather wish for than the end of the occupation of the west bank, especially as a reserve soldier, but if it was so simple it would have been over a long time ago. There is no such thing as an evil nation, that's just racist. We are people. When I get called for duty, I spend most my time riding in a jeep in which the commander is a lawyer, the driver is a youth council, the medic is a magician, and I'm an electronic engineer. This isn't an ego bunch, and know for a fact that there isn't an army in the world that shows as much restraint as we do. And back to the topic, from a tech company perspective, its smart to set up a development center in Israel. It worked for Intel, IBM, TI, Google, Microsoft, HP and the list goes on.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (0)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452422)

Currently I believe the ethnic cleansing is at its most obvious in the capital city of Jerusalem with a little in the West Bank, but historically speaking the entire country was founded on systematic ethnic cleansing and some members of the Knesset would quite like to see it make a more widespread return.

There is nothing I would rather wish for than the end of the occupation of the west bank, especially as a reserve soldier, but if it was so simple it would have been over a long time ago.

The simple fact of the matter is that Israeli governments since it began wanted it to continue and have systematically made sure it won't be by building increasing numbers of Jewish settlements deeper and deeper into the West Bank, slicing it up like swiss cheese and making any kind of end to the occupation less and less practical.

There is no such thing as an evil nation, that's just racist.

Why yes, Israel is just racist [haaretz.com] at pretty much every level.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (1)

pdxer (2520686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452676)

Currently I believe the ethnic cleansing is at its most obvious in the capital city of Jerusalem with a little in the West Bank, but historically speaking the entire country was founded on systematic ethnic cleansing and some members of the Knesset would quite like to see it make a more widespread return.

"Some members"...who?

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (2, Insightful)

WorldPiece (2462300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452942)

You swing around the phrase "ethnic cleansing" as a political slogan while ignoring its content. I can accept 'occupation' as a description, but there is a significant lack of cleansing involved. Israel receives disproportional bad press, whilst so many terrible bad things go on on a daily basis in the world with literally no coverage at all. And again, you saying Israel is just racist is the most racist thing of all. The fact that an Israeli newspaper has the sort of article you link to proves that. Things aren't black and white, there is much beneath the surface, too much to over simplify.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38453286)

Declaring a piece of land a "closed military zone" so you can later go in and create a colony for the exclusive use of Jews is ethnic cleansing.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38453946)

Declaring a piece of land a "closed military zone" so you can later go in and create a colony for the exclusive use of Jews is ethnic cleansing.

Declaring your brain a "closed thinking zone" so you can later go in and have it colonized for the exclusive use of other uninformed drones is bowel cleansing.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (1)

WorldPiece (2462300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38454180)

A. No it isn't. By using the phrase "ethnic cleansing" you are trying to create an emotional response so that the reader/listener creates a comparison between Israel and the likes of Congo, Kosovo and Darfur. This isn't the case. B. The heavy military presence in the west bank is a product of the 2000 Intifada. The Jewish settlements have been in place long before that. The reason there is a 'closed military zone' is that its the only thing keeping the order there. While settling has been frozen, and some settlements have also been evacuated, terror hasn't declined. It is today's absurd situation, that a person needs to form an opinion prior to consuming news from the media, so that the person can choose in which opinion flavor he would like his news to be in. I think that before making yourself an advocate of an agenda, you should get some first hand views of the subject. If you are that passionate about hating Israel, I invite you to come and see it for yourself.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38454310)

There is a reason importing your own population into occupied territory is prohibited by the 4th Geneva Convention, because it amounts to ethnic cleansing. The West Bank has been occupied since 1967, not 2000. There is no freeze, Tel Aviv just authorized another 1000 housing units on occupied territory, which was condemned [fco.gov.uk] by the UK, France, Germany, and Portugal.

The purpose of the entire settlement enterprise, and Zionism itself, is to take the land without the people, which is ethnic cleansing. It's what happened in 1947-1948 and has been going on continually since 1967. There is no need to make comparisons between Congo, Kosovo, or Darfur because it stands on it's own as an ongoing crime against humanity.

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (0)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455114)

The Israeli government is systematically stripping non-Jewish residents of Jerusalem of their residence and forcing them from their homes as a method of making it Jewish. It's a fairly slow process, but it's inexorable and has been going on for decades [sfgate.com] . If that doesn't count as ethnic cleansing, the systematic, planned and violent forcing out of non-Jewish Palestinians from their villages during the formation of Israel, with the odd massacre to encourage the rest, followed by the demolition of those villages and the creation of new Jewish settlements with new names certainly did. (Yes, they literally wiped the Arab population off the map. Also, I really do mean Jewish here and not just Israeli; they were and are places where only Jews were allowed to live.)

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (1)

wpi97 (901954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38454114)

I was in Jerusalem two years ago. Saw lots of Arabs. Bought a T-shirt from one in the Old City. Didn't see any cleansing going on. And speaking of getting "deeper and deeper into the West Bank", you do realize that we are talking about a strip of land about 10 miles wide, do you not?

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455498)

B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

International humanitarian law prohibits [an] occupying power [from transferring] citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory (Fourth Geneva Convention, article 49). The Hague Regulations prohibit the occupying power [from undertaking] permanent changes in the occupied area, unless these are due to military needs in the narrow sense of the term, or unless they are undertaken for the benefit of the local population.

The establishment of the settlements leads to the violation of the rights of the Palestinians as enshrined in international human rights law. Among other violations, the settlements infringe on the rights to self-determination, equality, property, an adequate standard of living, and freedom of movement.

Israel has used a complex legal and bureaucratic mechanism to take control of more than fifty percent of the land in the West Bank. This land has been used mainly to establish settlements and create reserves of land for the future expansion of the settlements.

Israel uses the seized lands to benefit the settlements, while prohibiting the Palestinian public from using them in any way. This use is forbidden and illegal in itself. As the occupier in the Occupied Territories, Israel is not permitted to ignore the needs of an entire population and to use land intended for public needs solely to benefit the settlers.

Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

Under this regime, Israel has stolen hundreds of thousands of dunam of land from the Palestinians. Israel has used this land to establish dozens of settlements in the West Bank and to populate them with hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens. Israel prohibits the Palestinians as a group from entering and using these lands, and uses the settlements to justify numerous violations of the Palestinians’ human rights, such as the right to housing, to earn a livelihood, and the right to freedom of movement. The drastic change that Israel has made in the map of the West Bank prevents any real possibility for the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state as part of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/homes.html
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/settlements.html

Re:Further soiling Apple's name (2)

pdxer (2520686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452670)

Investing in a regime that has WMDs, with a long history of ethnic cleansing, and brutal racism, doesn't seem like a good move to enhance one's reputation.

Doesn't it get boring jerking that same knee all the time?

Good thing they didn't buy a company based in the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, or India...all of which fit your criteria of having WMDs and a past that includes racism.

Clearly, they shouldn't buy companies owned by humans.

Prepare for the Fox News Headlines: (-1, Troll)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451028)

Prepare for the Fox News Headlines: Apple financing potential terrorists?

I would not be shocked if this was ALL Fox News saw in this press release.

STEVE IS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451324)

No he wouldn't! Oh no, "they" did! I think this is some sort of a fraud. Prove me wrong.

Re:STEVE IS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE. (0)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451500)

not an issue, his rounded corner white iCoffin has an anti-spin app

Re:STEVE IS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE. (2)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452688)

More likely the coffin is designed to use his spinning body as a gyro...

no palestine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451584)

Another corporation setting base in Israel means more nails in Palestine's coffin.

Good and evil (-1, Troll)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452064)

Apple has joined a list of other companies that have actively engaged with Israel's economy by purchasing an electronics company there for 500 million dollars, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even remarking about the deal stating, "Welcome to Israel, Apple Inc. on your first acquisition here. I'm certain that you'll benefit from the fruit of the Israeli knowledge." Israeli apartheid gets yet another boost, this time from an apple, where there will be knowledge gained by this act. Anyone else see the irony?
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