Apple Uses 349M Microphones; Becomes Number One Buyer in 2011
Apple recently purchased a 349 million micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) microphones last year to put in its various iOS devices, making the Cupertino California company the biggest purchaser of such microphones in the world. This number grew a whopping 173% from 2010 to 2011, putting Apple up over Samsung for the most microphones bought (and presumably installed and used).
The microphones are the same ones found in each of the following iOS devices: the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, and the iPad 2. One of the mics is found in the headphone cable included with each device, while the other two are on the device itself (one of them being used strictly for noise cancellation). This is the exact reason as to why Siri works so well at “hearing” even in relatively crowded environments, because there’s an extra microphone on board to listen for noise to remove from the incoming signal. An interesting thing to note here is that the iPad doesn’t have this third mic, which might be one of the reasons why Siri isn’t present on the earlier generation devices.
Supposedly, the next-generation iPad will have all of these components too so Apple will probably continue to buy more of these parts. In fact, it’s likely that we’ll be seeing them in both the new iPhone and the new iPad due out this year. Apple may be responsible for yet another spike in the sale of these mini microphones and move themselves up even higher up on the chart of consumption for this specific part.
Source: The Next Web