LONDON – Wolfson Microelectronics plc (Edinburgh, Scotland), a mixed-signal fabless chip company, has announced that its WM1811 audio hub IC is being used within the Galaxy S III smartphone from Samsung.
The Galaxy range of Android smartphones was introduced in 2010 and the first unit, the Galaxy S sold 24 million units. The Galaxy S II has sold 28 million units and the Galaxy Note tablet has sold 7 million units, according to Information Week. The Galaxy smartphones have been pitched as rivals to the iPhone from Apple and the S III is expected to be a big seller.
Wolfson made a net loss of $6.2 million on sales revenue of $30.3 million in the first quarter of 2012 so there is hope that the Samsung design win can help drive Wolfson towards profitability.
However, the Wolfson has supplied the WM8994 audio hub to Samsung for several of its smartphones previously.
"Our continued success with Samsung, particularly within its range of smartphones and tablets, is testament to the unrivalled quality of our HD Audio Hubs, and the unique features in our products that allow manufacturers to create differentiated audio experiences," said Mike Hickey, Wolfson's CEO, in a statement.
You say so, but Wolfson has been in the Samsung club for a while. I believe they have also been in and out the Apple club.
The problem is that consumer electronics buyers force suppliers to go very low on price...that there is (almost) no margin.
This partly explains why Wolfson has been making losses.
So what do you do jack up the price and lose the business...or carrying on selling?
Their parts are capable of very high quality audio. I have been considering them for some time, but the very low cost, poor technical support and the perceived stability of the company have put me off. That might change now.
That's what I thought, too, that Wolfson means quality audio, but it seems Samsung cannot do analog right.
It's not just Samsung. Sony phones (last year's models) sound terrible, too, which is quite unexpected. Unless they serious and put S-Master digital amps inside, I would stay away.
Nokia, on the other hand, takes sound quality seriously. The N8 is a prime example. Even the Nokia 101 sounds better than a typical Sony phone.
---Wolfson Microelectronics plc (Edinburgh, Scotland), a mixed-signal fabless chip company, has announced that its WM1811 audio hub IC is being used within the Galaxy S III smartphone from Samsung.
That is a lot of money. Congrats to Woflson. When you get into the club of Apple or Samsung, you are indeed have arrived. This is huge and a big deal.
The Wolfson chips have historically been capable of very high quality audio. However, in my opinion Samsung has not done a very good job of exploiting this quality in past products. It always seems like it takes third party software to get the most from these chips in Samsung products. Why can't Samsung seem to unleash this same high quality audio "out of the box"?
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