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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,683member


    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.

  • Reply 2 of 29


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

  • Reply 3 of 29

    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?

  • Reply 4 of 29

    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.

  • Reply 5 of 29
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,683member

    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. 

  • Reply 6 of 29
    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...
  • Reply 7 of 29


    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.

  • Reply 8 of 29
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    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.

  • Reply 9 of 29
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 29


    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!

  • Reply 11 of 29


    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.

  • Reply 12 of 29


    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. 

  • Reply 13 of 29


    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

  • Reply 14 of 29


    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. image

  • Reply 15 of 29


    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.

  • Reply 16 of 29


    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.

  • Reply 17 of 29


    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??

  • Reply 18 of 29
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,484member


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

  • Reply 19 of 29


    Originally Posted by rezwits View Post

    Is next generation IP, next generation iPhone?


     


    Intellectual property.

  • Reply 20 of 29


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

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