Comprising a pressure sensitive diaphragm fixed directly into a silicon IC and accompanied by an integrated preamplifier, MEMS microphones are often integrated with modern digital products and extensively used in high-quality audio output devices. One of the major global trends driving the MEMS Microphone market is its miniaturization that has rendered them smaller and capable of more functions than the previously extensively used ECM. Its smaller size gives it a competitive edge, since when embedded in electronic devices it takes up less space. Furthermore, the MEMS microphone is robust and also consumes less power - making them more efficient, as well as enabling them to deliver higher quality output.
This report: Global MEMS Microphone Market 2014-2018 shares detailed insights into the key market trends and drivers. The report highlights the present market conditions especially in the markets of America, EMEA and APAC regions over the forecast period of 2014-2018.
Key market trends
Research on the MEMS microphone market indicates that the segment witnessed strong growth in 2013. With the increase in the demand and consequently the production of smartphones worldwide propelled the growth of this segment owing to its extensive use as an integrated component in smartphones for audio functions. With their increased adoption in smartphones, the market is expected to reach USD 865 million by 2017. Moreover, while previously only one microphone was integrated, the number has now increased to two to three for better quality audio, thus further boosting the market prospects.
Mobile phones currently account for the largest market share, closely followed by laptops, tablets, camcorders, hearing aids, headphones and automotives. The manufacturers of the MEMS expect that the competition will increase considerably in the future due to which the market can expect reduced prices and gross margins. The hearing aid market is expected to account for the highest growth rate at 27.46% AAGR followed by headphones at 25% AAGR. By 2017, the MEMS microphones are expected to achieve about 92% penetration in the mobile phone market and 95% penetration in PDAs, digicams, and camcorders.
Apple and Samsung - The biggest buyers of MEMS Microphones
The key vendor, Knowles has significantly grown its business by supplying high performance microphones especially to companies like Samsung and Apple. This company alone supplies two of the three high performance MEMS microphones in Apple iPhones 5S as well as three for iPhone 5. Expecting to grow by 24% in 2014, the MEMS Microphone market is expected to reach USD 1.04 billion from its current value of USD 836.9 million, recorded in 2013.
Key challenges and market prospects
One of the major challenges that the MEMS microphone industry faces today is the lack of product differentiation that presents a significant challenge in terms of product selection. This especially poses a challenge for end users who look for devices that come with a multi-feature functionality. However, market analysts predict that with heightened product innovation this issue would soon be taken care of, opening up another huge market for the industry – one that serves directly to the end consumers.
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