According to IHS iSuppli, Apple became the largest consumer of microelectromechanical-system (MEMS) microphones in 2011. Apple increased MEMS mic purchases by 173% equaling 349 million, up from 128 million in 2010. Expanding sales of iPhones, headsets, and, most notably, iPads are taking responsibility for the phenomenon. Supplanting traditional, less expensive electret condenser microphones, MEMS mics are smaller components using pressure-sensitive diaphragms etched on semiconductors. Despite price differences, MEMS mics carry extra advantages in terms of size, scalability, temperature stability, and significantly better sound quality. Apple uses two analog MEMS microphones in its iPhone 4/4S phones, one analog mic in its iPhone headsets, and one digital MEMS mic in its iPad 2 tablets. In contrast, Samsung uses two MEMS mics in its smart phones and in the Galaxy 10.1 tablet. As sales for both companies’ products accelerate, the market for MEMS mics is also set to soar. For more information, visit www.isuppli.com/MEMS-and-Sensors/News/Pages/Booming-iPad-Sales-Help-Apple-to-Become-Largest-Consumer-of-MEMS-Microphones-in-2011.aspx and www.isuppli.com/MEMS-and-Sensors/Pages/MEMS-Microphones-Go-Digital-in-2012.aspx?PRX.

IHS iSuppli
www.isuppli.com