Gyroscope companies reap the rewards of tablet boom
Move over, accelerometers – there’s a new microelectromechanical systems king in town. According to IHS research, gyroscopes now top the consumer electronics MEMS sector, with manufacturers earning more than $655 million in revenue last year.
Jérémie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS, chalked up the segment’s 66 percent year-over-year revenue increase to iPad and iPhone sales spikes.
“Smartphones and media tablets are by far the main adopters of the 3-axis gyroscope, and the blockbuster sales of the iPhone and iPad in the fourth quarter of 2011 boosted the 3-axis gyroscope market,” Bouchaud said. “Of the $655 million total revenue generated by the gyroscope space, the 3-axis segment accounted for $462 million, or 71 percent. Apple was the main consumer, accounting for 62 percent consumption of 3-axis gyroscopes, with other manufacturers like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics also ramping up their adoption of the device last year.”
During the recent holiday quarter, Apple sold 15.4 million iPads and more than 37 million iPhones. The Cupertino company’s iPad 3, to be released later this month, is expected to continue the company’s tablet market dominance.
Future gyroscope innovations, including a 6-axis inertial measurement unit, will fuel growth as Apple and other manufacturers include them in popular products, Bouchaud added. New dedicated handheld gaming devices, including Nintendo’s glasses-less 3D portable the 3DS and Sony’s PS Vita, also feature gyroscope technology.
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