Photo: Reuters, Toru Hanai

Bain Capital’s effort to acquire Toshiba’s memory chip business may be in for a huge boost as Bloomberg reports Apple is now discussing a US$3 billion stake in the bid.

The strategic importance of chips for Apple is clear: only a handful of companies make the highest-end technology, and one of them is Samsung. The deal would give Apple an opportunity to gain control over a critical component of their supply chain.

The move has an added benefit of blocking Western Digital’s play to acquire the unit with KKR & Co, a development which would see more power concentrated within the chip industry.