Mobile

Apple: MEM's the Word

Published on May 2, 2011
by John Paczkowski

Apple has surpassed Nintendo to become the world’s second-largest purchaser of MEMS, the microelectromechanical sensors used as accelerometers, microphones and gyroscopes in the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. And if sales of those devices continue to trend the way they have been, it may soon overtake Samsung as the largest of all. Apple purchased $195 million worth of MEMS sensors in 2010, according to IHS iSuppli.

That’s 116.7 percent more than it bought in 2009 and just $5 million shy of the $200 million purchased by Samsung Electronics.

“Consumers in 2010 happily bought up Apple products including the iPhone 4, the iPad and iPod Touch,” said iSuppli analyst Jeremie Bouchaud. “Much of the appeal of these products lies in their sophisticated user interfaces, which rely heavily on MEMS sensors, specifically accelerometers, gyroscopes and microphones. This caused Apple’s purchasing to boom in 2010.”

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