Gyroscopes were the top-selling consumer and mobile MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) devices in 2011, largely due to strong sales of iOS devices.

Figures from market research firm IHS gyroscope sales reached $655.4 million in 2011, up 66 percent from $394.5 million in 2010.

The company put the impressive growth down to record sales of the iPad and iPhone in Q4 2011, and the boost sees gyroscopes overtake accelerometers as the top sellers in the consumer and mobile MEMS category.

"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," said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS & sensors at IHS.

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"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."

STMicroelectronics was the leading producer of both gyroscopes and accelerometers, IHS said, with Apple accounting for around half of the company’s MEMS business in 2011.

STMicroelectronics is the sole supplier of gyroscopes and accelerometers for the iPhone and iPad.