March 17, 2008 -- Silicon MEMS microphone installations, which doubled between 2005 and 2006 to reach 20% of mobile phones manufactured, stalled in 2007, according to The Information Network (TIN).
The silicon microphone market only grew by 12.4% on year to 238 million units in 2007, primarily due to a large drop in the annual growth of cell phones and converged devices, as well as penetration of Bluetooth headsets, the research firm said. The low cost of Bluetooth headsets requires a low bill of materials (BOMs) and standard electret microphones can be priced as low as 10% of the cost of MEM microphones, TIN pointed out.
Nearly 82% of MEMS microphone shipments in 2007 were for cell phones, with the remainder for consumer applications such as digital cameras, MP3 players, and PDAs. In 2007, two million MEMS microphones were also incorporated into notebook computers.
TIN expects a small percentage of silicon microphones will be used in contact center/office headsets and hearing aids, but overall growth again will be stymied by a continual drop in the cell phone and converged devices market, which the firm anticipates will see only an 11.1% on-year growth in shipments.