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Israeli newspaper reports Apple acquisition of chip maker PrimeSense for USD 345 million price tag

November 17
7:17 PM 2013

A report from Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist said Apple has purchased PrimeSense for a price tag of USD 345 million. The report did not cite sources. PrimeSense is a company based in Tel Aviv. It manufactures chips that allow three-dimensional machine vision. It was responsible for the motion-tracking technology in the original Xbox 360 Kinect of Microsoft. Calcalist first reported the possible purchase last July but PrimeSense said it was merely speculation. The Israeli chip maker is also dismissing the acquisition today.

Yaniv Vakrat, the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Prime Sense, told VentureBeat that the company does not relate to rumors made about their partners and customers. A PrimeSense spokeswoman also reiterated, "PrimeSense is the leading 3D technology in the market. We are focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and Natural Interaction to the mass market in a variety of markets such as interactive living room and mobile devices. We do not comment on what any of our partners, customers, or potential customers are doing and we do not relate to rumors or recycled rumors." However, the report said the acquisition would be officially confirmed in about two weeks.

Calcalist reported that venture capital funds like Canaan Partners Global, Genesis Partners and Gemini Israel had provided funding to the tune of USD 85 million for PrimeSense.

If the report is true, the purchase of PrimeSense would be Apple's second of an Israeli firm. In January last year, Apple bought Israeli manufacturer of flash storage chips Anobit in a deal said to be worth anywhere from USD 400 million to USD 500 million.

VentureBeat also reported that Apple was thought to be developing a 3D gesture interface. The report added that although Apple had its own motion sensing technology patents, it could also license technology from PrimeSense or one of the Israeli firm's rivals.

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