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Briefly: Apple MEMS microphones, EU to rule on Google's Motorola takeover

post #1 of 8
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Apple passed Samsung as the world's largest buyer of miniscule MEMS microphones in 2011, while a European Union judgment on Google's proposed buyout of Motorola Mobility is set to take place in February.

Apple MEMS microphones

Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) microphone sales skyrocketed in 2011 and saw Apple dethrone Samsung as the world's top buyer of the tiny devices used in many of the company's mobile products, reports component sales analytics provider IHS iSuppli.

Apple purchased a total of 349 million MEMS microphones in 2011, a 173 percent increase from the 128 million the company bought in 2010. The huge growth, attributed to massive iPhone and iPad sales, made the Cupertino, Calif., company the biggest global buyer of the components in 2011 and accounted for 27 percent of all MEMS microphone sales for the year.

Following Apple are handset and mobile product makers Samsung, LG and Motorola with market shares of 20%, 7% and 5%, respectively.




The architecture of a MEMS microphone consists of a pressure-sensitive diaphragm etched onto a semiconductor, and offer advantages over older electret condenser microphones like size, temperature stability and sound quality.

“Apple in 2010 sounded the starting gun for the current boom in MEMS microphone sales when it adopted the devices in its iPhone 4,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst of MEMS and sensors for IHS. “However, with the addition of MEMS microphones into the highly successful iPad 2 in 2011, Apple’s purchasing of the tiny devices went into overdrive. When combined with strong increases in its buys of MEMS microphones for iPhone headsets, Apple outstripped all other rivals to become the largest consumer of the devices, helping the drive the growth of the overall market.”


Knowles MEMS microphone die | Source: Chipworks


Apple employs two analog MEMS microphones in its iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S smartphones for noise cancellation; one analog MEMS microphone in the iPhone headset; and one digital MEMS microphone for the iPad 2.

EU to decide on Google buyout of Motorola Mobility

European Union regulators have pegged Feb. 13, 2012 for a ruling to clear Google's buyout of Motorola after the original Jan. 10 date was suspended in December 2011, reports Reuters.

The EU Commission said Google has come forward with supporting documents that will allow regulators to make a decision on the proposed $12.5 billion takeover, which the internet giant hopes will grow its patent portfolio for the company's Android mobile platform.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in September 2011 that the purchase would not only secure important intellectual property, but grant the company access to Motorola's "amazing products."




The buyout is also being studied by U.S. antitrust regulators.
post #2 of 8
Re the Moto buy, many seem to think this is a negative for Google, what is the opinion of AI's resident experts?
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Re the Moto buy, many seem to think this is a negative for Google, what is the opinion of AI's resident experts?

To be honest I don't even think Android sites know what to think of it...it could "easily" go either way. lol

I'm curious as to why the EU has to decide on the takeover though...aren't both companies from the USA?
post #4 of 8
Re: MEMS

I assume they use double for the iPhone's dual microphones. Does any iPod yet have a built in microphone? This makes me think that perhaps many of Samsung's 35(?) million smartphones for the quarter aren't quite as smart as we assume by looking at their few that are quite good. Do we still have no definition of what defines a smartphone?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

To be honest I don't even think Android sites know what to think of it...it could "easily" go either way. lol

I'm curious as to why the EU has to decide on the takeover though...aren't both companies from the USA?

I think imagining what would happen if MS came out with their own PC hardware puts it into perspective.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

To be honest I don't even think Android sites know what to think of it...it could "easily" go either way. lol

I'm curious as to why the EU has to decide on the takeover though...aren't both companies from the USA?

If they want to do business in regulated industries within the Eu, the Eu has a right to put forth an opinion. They can't stop them from merging, but they can disallow the combined company from doing business. That won't happen though.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Re: MEMS

Does any iPod yet have a built in microphone?

The iPod Touches do.
post #7 of 8
The accelerometer and gyroscope will both be MEMs devices. I wonder where Apple ranks in purchases of these devices?
Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

If they want to do business in regulated industries within the Eu, the Eu has a right to put forth an opinion. They can't stop them from merging, but they can disallow the combined company from doing business. That won't happen though.

Oh okay...thanks for the clarification.
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