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Apple now world's second-largest buyer of accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones

post #1 of 10
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The multitude of sensors found in devices like the iPhone 4, iPad and iPod touch have made Apple the second-largest buyer of microelectromechanical sensors, with the company positioned to overtake market leader Samsung.

iSuppli research found that Apple's purchases of MEMS sensors increased 116.7 percent in 2010 to $195 million, according to DigiTimes. MEMS sensors include the accelerometers, gyroscopes and microphones found in Apple's mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

Apple's purchases increased from $90 million in 2009, and pushed the iPhone maker ahead of Nintendo to make it the second-largest MEMS sensor purchaser last year. In fact, Apple is only $5 million behind Samsung, the largest purchaser.

"Consumers in 2010 happily bought up Apple products including the iPhone 4, the iPad and iPod Touch," said Jeremie Bouchaud, principal analyst for MEMS at iSuppli. "Much of the appeal of these products lies in their sophisticated user interfaces, which rely heavily on MEMS sensors, specifically accelerometers, gyroscopes and microphones. This caused Apple's purchasing to boom in 2010."

Starting last year with the iPhone 4, Apple added a gyroscope to its iOS-powered devices, offering precise motion controls for applications and games. The three-axis gyroscopes are provided by STMicroelectronics.



Apple has also put accelerometers in its iOS devices, and the iPod nano and its MacBook notebooks. The company has also placed bulk acoustic wave duplexers from TriQuint Semiconductor in the iPhone and iPad 3G.



Purchases of MEMS sensors were also boosted by the acquisition of microphones from Analog Devices, Knowles Electronics and AAC. Those microphones were used in an array of products, including the fifth-generation iPod nano, iPhone 4, iPad 2, and Apple's headsets.

Apple's growth came as Nintendo declined 11.5 percent, due to market saturation of its accelerometer-powered Wii video game controllers. Samsung saw 46 percent year over year growth, up from its $137 million in purchases in 2010.
post #2 of 10
1st post. I win.
post #3 of 10
And that's just last year. I can't imagine that number will be going down for 2011, especially with iPad 2 taking off like it is.

Also, is it just me or does it bother anyone else when people say things like "MEMS sensors". Doesn't the "S" in "MEMS" stand for "sensors" already? That's one of my pet peeves, sorry.
John
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post #4 of 10
Does anyone know what Samsung is using all those in?
Phones?
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post #5 of 10
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Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

Does anyone know what Samsung is using all those in?
Phones?

Must be. Can't imagine there's a lot of use for a gyroscope in a TV or a Blu-Ray player.
post #6 of 10
Maybe hard drives? To be able to park the heads before hitting the floor?
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

And that's just last year. I can't imagine that number will be going down for 2011, especially with iPad 2 taking off like it is.

Also, is it just me or does it bother anyone else when people say things like "MEMS sensors". Doesn't the "S" in "MEMS" stand for "sensors" already? That's one of my pet peeves, sorry.

The term MEMs typically refers to microelectromechanical systems. Not all MEMs are sensors, such as MEM mirrors. Then again, these might be MEMMs.

All the best.
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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

Does anyone know what Samsung is using all those in?
Phones?

Cars, maybe? Construction equipment? Shipping levels? Grocery scales? Why does no one even read the entry in Wikipedia on Samsung? In America, you may think of them as an electronic company, but they didn't even sprout into the world till the 90's, and even now, only do it by buying up other technology.

Samsung are the largest conglomerate in the world and have a load of places/ways to use electronics that have nothing to do with end products in electronics. Phones? Maybe, but that is a drop in the bucket to them.
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Cars, maybe? Construction equipment? Shipping levels? Grocery scales? Why does no one even read the entry in Wikipedia on Samsung? In America, you may think of them as an electronic company, but they didn't even sprout into the world till the 90's, and even now, only do it by buying up other technology.

Samsung are the largest conglomerate in the world and have a load of places/ways to use electronics that have nothing to do with end products in electronics. Phones? Maybe, but that is a drop in the bucket to them.


Makes since, but a lot of that is not Samsung branded, just owned by Samsung. So maybe it's not really a good comparison? Maybe I would have to be sector based. Not that it matters. It was more just curiosity. Side note, wiki is a useful source of info tho I don't consider it the be all end all of truth.
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

Makes since, but a lot of that is not Samsung branded, just owned by Samsung. So maybe it's not really a good comparison? Maybe I would have to be sector based. Not that it matters. It was more just curiosity. Side note, wiki is a useful source of info tho I don't consider it the be all end all of truth.

Indeed, but for people who don't live in Korea, it is vital to understand a little. Honestly, Samsung own everything here whether outright, or through branch firms, so their gyroscopes can go in practically anything I see and... well, it's Samsung.
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