Apple Design Wins Help Bosch Become Top MEMS Manufacturer


Bosch became the top manufacturer of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors and actuators in 2013, due to ARM mobile phone and iPad design wins, according to IHS, a market research company. A year prior, this award was shared by Bosch and STMicroelectronics NV (via EETimes).

Bosch, a German company, is renowned as a supplier of automotive MEMS, and, as the IHS study points out, that accounted for 74% of the company’s sales last year. However, its Bosch Sensortec subsidiary — which focuses on consumer and mobile applications — has recorded outstanding growth over the past year.

You may recall that Bosch made headlines last fall after the launch of the iPhone 5s, when the guys from Gizmodo found an “embarrassing” issue with the handset’s motion sensors such as the gyroscope, compass, and accelerometer. Since these weren’t working properly, the developers from RealityCap attributed the issue to the supplier, Bosch.

The German company dominated the accelerometer market last year for smartphones and provided Apple with the parts for the iPhone 5c, the iPhone 5s, and the iPad Air. Besides supplying accelerometers for Apple, Bosch was contracted by Chinese handset makers as well as Samsung.

Becoming Apple’s supplier has propelled Bosch to the top of the list, with sales up 26% last year, while pushing ST’s revenue down as the latter has lost Apple’s design slots to Bosch.