The American computer giant Apple has purchased LinX Imaging, an Israeli business that produces tiny camera modules for telephones and tablet devices.
The Wall Street Journal quoted sources close to the deal who said that Apple paid $20 million for the Israeli firm.
LinX creates cameras that are smaller than any on the market today and can photograph multiple objects at once. Moreover, the company website says, LinX technology lets users create 3D images and refocus an image after the picture has been taken, providing 3D object modeling and real-time background replacement, a feature that can be used in video calls.
The TechCrunch blog speculated that Apple could use the camera technology in devices such as the MacBook. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition, but told The Wall Street Journal that Apple “buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
LinX Imaging is the third Israeli company Apple has acquired. The company bought Anobit, a flash memory developer, in 2012 for $390 million, and PrimeSense, which develops movement sensors, for $300 million in 2013.
Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Israel in February for the inauguration of Apple’s Herzliya offices and told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that Apple has “enormous admiration for Israel, not just as an important ally for the U.S., but as a place to do business.”