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Apple may ditch Audience noise suppression tech in next-gen iPhone

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
In a note released on Thursday, Audience said Apple is "unlikely" to enable its noise suppression IP in the upcoming iPhone, causing shares of the audio technology company to tumble over 50 percent in after-market trading.

Apple has employed Audience's processor in previous iterations of its popular handset, including the iPhone 4, which featured a dedicated separate noise suppression processor.

Most recently, the A5 SoC used in the iPhone 4S integrated Audience's second-generation earSmart voice and audio processor IP to optimize the voice recognition capabilities of Apple's Siri virtual assistant.

Audience developed next-generation IP and licensed it to Apple in March, but the agreement does not require the iPhone maker and its subsidiaries to use the patents if it so chooses.

Audience Chip
Standalone Audience chip from the iPhone 4. | Source: iFixIt


From the release:
Audience now believes that it is unlikely that the OEM will enable Audience's processor IP in its next generation mobile phone. Audience is not aware of any intended changes by this OEM to its use of Audience's processors or processor IP in prior generations of the OEM's mobile phones.
Because Apple is Audience's top customer, the choice not to use the patents will affect the company's bottom line as no royalties will be paid out.

"While we are disappointed by this development, we are confident in the diversification of our business and see sustainable growth in 2012 and beyond," said Audience President and CEO Peter Santos. "As such we are raising guidance for the third quarter of 2012. Looking ahead, we believe our expansion into adjacent markets such as Smart TVs, automotive, and notebooks, will continue to bring growth in 2013 and beyond."

It is unclear what audio processing technology Apple has chosen over Audience's solution.
post #2 of 30

Interesting. My neighbor works for a well known American fabless chip company. He told me some time ago that the next generation iPhone would use noise cancellation tech from his company.  Perhaps it is now finally happening.

post #3 of 30

At first, I read it as Apple shares tumbled 50% and I was like WTF?!

post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

Interesting. My neighbor works for a well known American fabless chip company. He told me some time ago that the next generation iPhone would use noise cancellation tech from his company.  Perhaps it is now finally happening.

what company?

post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

Interesting. My neighbor works for a well known American fabless chip company. He told me some time ago that the next generation iPhone would use noise cancellation tech from his company.  Perhaps it is now finally happening.

Inquiring minds want to know -- but can wait if it violates a confidence with your neighbor. /s

 

Edit: I see bighype had a similar thought first or same time.

post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighype View Post

what company?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Inquiring minds want to know -- but can wait if it violates a confidence with your neighbor. /s

 

Edit: I see bighype had a similar thought first or same time.

Yeah I shouldn't say.  He told me and I don't think he realized that was probably violating some kind of confidentiality rules/SEC guidelines.  He's not from the US and is an engineer.  Don't think he pays much attention to stocks and things.  I have chosen not to take advantage of the information.

 

I'll share with you after the first teardown. 

post #7 of 30
I see this as confirmation that the iPhone 5 will use the A6 processor. Since Audience technology is integrated into the A5 and something must now replace it, that something most-likely would be incorporated into the A6. The question remains as to why Apple made this decision, and if this decision results in a downgrade, upgrade, or status quo of current A5 integrated Audience technology...
post #8 of 30

I find it comical how Audience Technology's stock took a hit because Apple failed to make use of the IP they are licensing from them since earlier this year.  Apple's stock should take the hit for failing to add a feature to their product that has been thus far already outed by the tech community.  Unless Tim is going to unveil an iPhone we have never seen then his doubling down on secrecy is looking really bad.

post #9 of 30

I am more interested in iOS 6 than the new iPhone.  Yes the iPhone will be awesome in some ways.  But the iOS will have some really nice upgrades that I am itching to use.

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post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

I am more interested in iOS 6 than the new iPhone.  Yes the iPhone will be awesome in some ways.  But the iOS will have some really nice upgrades that I am itching to use.

Holy cow.  I just saw that iOS 6 is not compatible with iPad 1st gen.  How sad.

An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #11 of 30

Apple probably found a way to create it's own version of noise cancelling technology, and patent it on terms so general that they'll soon be able to sue every maker of communications devices from internet switches to radio technology used by NASA. Go Apple! Sue the world!

post #12 of 30

Hmm. I wonder if this will be as successful as when Apple ditched Portal Player. Considering my first gen iPod Shuffle sounds better than my iPhone 4S when playing back the same music files, I'm going to go ahead and assume not.

post #13 of 30

Apple is pissed off because Audience delivered its IP for the "Xiaomi Mi2" Android phone, which is also not to far from an iPhone rip-off. 

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post #14 of 30

I'm pretty certain that with Thomlinson Holman having been hired by Apple, they are leading some really innovative changes and IN-sourcing some of their audio technology, speaker improvements microphone improvements. Hence this dropping of a third party tech that required discreet hardware.

 

Thomlinson is thought-leading researcher in sound/acoustic engineering and definitely THE authority, auteur-type steve-jobs-like megagenius that is behind a lot of Apple's recent improvements here. Their laptop speakers, the iphone and ipad speakers, and now this.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomlinson_Holman

post #15 of 30
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post
Holy cow.  I just saw that iOS 6 is not compatible with iPad 1st gen.  How sad.

 

You're telling me. 

😡

The Unicode name for the above emoticon is "Sulking Face", despite it begin red and certainly more angry than sulking. While I think the image itself applies to how I feel, I'm sure that most others unaffected would find the name more appropriate to this situation. lol.gif


Edited by Tallest Skil - 9/6/12 at 4:39pm

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #16 of 30

Would you want Apple to dummy down iOS6 just so it would be compatible with 1st gen iPad?  This is too limiting, and ignores the competitive pressures from Android, Amazon, Microsoft et al.

 

Best that Apple focuses on making the very best software that utilizes state of the art processors.  Not to despair about your 1st gen iPad, though, it will give many more years of faithful service.

post #17 of 30
Originally Posted by RFHJr View Post
Would you want Apple to dummy down iOS6 just so it would be compatible with 1st gen iPad? 

 

Probably because they're already doing it with a phone that has the same hardware and a phone that has even worse hardware. The latter of which is older than the first iPad. That's probably why.


Not to despair about your 1st gen iPad, though, it will give many more years of faithful service.

 

Oh, I'm not doubting that! It's just… getting too small.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #18 of 30

I must be losing it.

 

Is next generation IP, next generation iPhone?  I haven't really heard that acronym.  Can't find any reference other that next Generation network, but it's not an internet protocol chip.  Internal Processor?  Integrated Process?  Some sites say, next generation ip services are iCloud services?  I am lost...

 

Please explain what that means, would like to know.

 

Thanks

 

I guess integrated processor... duh??

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post #19 of 30

Audience's loses their top customer and are raising guidance for the end of 2012?

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post #20 of 30
Originally Posted by rezwits View Post
Is next generation IP, next generation iPhone?

 

Intellectual property.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #21 of 30

Apple's NOT doing away with Siri, so what could have caused this? do they simply not need it anymore?

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmlx View Post

Apple probably found a way to create it's own version of noise cancelling technology, and patent it on terms so general that they'll soon be able to sue every maker of communications devices from internet switches to radio technology used by NASA. Go Apple! Sue the world!

Next is God for making a fruit the same shape as their insignia and naming it Apple.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #23 of 30
Originally Posted by marcusj0015 View Post
Apple's NOT doing away with Siri, so what could have caused this? do they simply not need it anymore?

 

They've either found better hardware for the same technology or it's as another user mentioned earlier; Audience is integrated into the A5 series and Apple isn't using an A5 in the next iPhone.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

They've either found better hardware for the same technology or it's as another user mentioned earlier; Audience is integrated into the A5 series and Apple isn't using an A5 in the next iPhone.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAlt View Post

I see this as confirmation that the iPhone 5 will use the A6 processor. Since Audience technology is integrated into the A5 and something must now replace it, that something most-likely would be incorporated into the A6. The question remains as to why Apple made this decision, and if this decision results in a downgrade, upgrade, or status quo of current A5 integrated Audience technology...

 

He says that there is an Audience IP block in the next iPhone, but it will not be enabled.

 

If there's a new processor, why would they include the Audience IP block if they had no intention of using it?

post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmlx View Post

Apple probably found a way to create it's own version of noise cancelling technology, and patent it on terms so general that they'll soon be able to sue every maker of communications devices from internet switches to radio technology used by NASA. Go Apple! Sue the world!

I find it unfortunate that people accuse Apple of obtaining overly broad patents or going sue crazy.  What patents are overly broad and since when was Apple out suing the world?  Anyone who looked into the Samsung litigation would come to the same conclusion the Jury did, which was Samsung unabashedly copied Apple's products knowing that they had design patents covering it.  

Design patents are actually pretty weak protection because it is pretty easy to "design around".  All they needed to do was pick a different design.  They didn't.  Instead they did everything they could to make their devices look exactly the same. I don't blame them.  Apple had a head start and the only way to catch up was copy.  It worked out pretty well.  Samsung is the market leader for number of devices sold.  From a business standpoint, copying was the right thing to do.  They beat Motorola, RIM, Palm, and Nokia and it only cost them a billion dollars.  Pretty sweat deal if you ask me.  A billion dollars is chump change in this market.

post #26 of 30

Quote:

Probably because they're already doing it with a phone that has the same hardware and a phone that has even worse hardware. The latter of which is older than the first iPad. That's probably why.

The iPhone 4 doesn't have exactly the same hardware as the 1st generation iPad. They both have the Apple A4 SoC but the iPhone 4 has twice the memory at 512MB. As for the 3Gs, it's specs might be limited but its lower screen resolution explains why it's capable of keeping decent performance while adding software features to it.

 

I'm afraid the 1st generation iPad is not perfectly smooth when running iOS5 as it is.

post #27 of 30
Originally Posted by RFHJr View Post

Would you want Apple to dummy down iOS6 just so it would be compatible with 1st gen iPad?  This is too limiting, and ignores the competitive pressures from Android, Amazon, Microsoft et al.

Best that Apple focuses on making the very best software that utilizes state of the art processors.  Not to despair about your 1st gen iPad, though, it will give many more years of faithful service.

 

Agreed! Anyone with older iOS devices can take comfort in the fact that they had the newest OS on release day, and at least one major OS update afterwards, as soon as it was available. I doubt any of us would be satisfied with the Android method: brand new phones shipping with antiquated OS versions, with support and updates (if any) completely stopping in 6-12 months, to make room for the next thousand handset variations.

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post #28 of 30
Originally Posted by davidgoscinny View Post
The iPhone 4 doesn't have exactly the same hardware as the 1st generation iPad. They both have the Apple A4 SoC but the iPhone 4 has twice the memory at 512MB. 

 

Does it? Huh. Thanks for the correction.


As for the 3Gs, it's specs might be limited but its lower screen resolution explains why it's capable of keeping decent performance while adding software features to it.

 

The 3GS still has 256 and a worse processor.


I'm afraid the 1st generation iPad is not perfectly smooth when running iOS5 as it is.

 

Been spectacular for me. 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Platanas View Post

Apple is pissed off because Audience delivered its IP for the "Xiaomi Mi2" Android phone, which is also not to far from an iPhone rip-off. 

 

If true, I doubt this has anything to do with being "pissed off", and everything to do with trying to contain costs.  If you can build your own tech and not have to license someone else's, then you can save a few bucks per phone.   This is probably like Apple's move away from Google maps on iOS6.   Apple has to pay Google every time somebody references a Google map.  Again, if you can substitute your own tech, you can save a dime.

post #30 of 30

Regarding earlier Planned Obsolescence comments on iOS6 Compatibility, I was reminded of this: 

 

Around February 2012, I've was able to used iCloud in Safari on my old Powerbook G4, 1.67, 10.4.11, 2GB Ram… Officially it was not supported, and then I saw why! It's because it was like watching a video at 4x or 8x SLOWER!!! The only reason I did it was because my MacBook Pro 17' was sent out for repair, and I chose iCloud on that old PB as a lesser evil vs. typing on my iPhone 4S, while I was on my home Wi-Fi… So… I totally agree with Apple in that case…, that 4 or 8 Times SLOWER would be an embarrassment due to outdated, less powerful hardware!!!! 

 

All companies do Planned Obsolescence, so it's just a matter of a how soon… Then come hand-me-downs to kids, or friends who are not as tech savvy, donations etc… It'd be great if there was an easier way to Donate, Recycle our hardware, or at least Apple Hardware, and maybe receive some $$$ credit for it! I'd love to know that my old Mac gear was disposed of properly, or donated to the really needy!!! 

 

So..., yes, all of our hardware is eventually outdated for some, but not all task, and we eventually have to upgrade, if we need the latest and the greatest!


Edited by macologist - 9/7/12 at 12:49pm

Go  Apple!!!

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