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Powermat joins WPC, no longer competing with Qi on wireless charging

Wireless charging set to get better and simpler from here on out as Powermat joins the Wireless Power Consortium.

Published onJanuary 8, 2018

  • Once a competitor, Powermat will join the Wireless Power Consortium.
  • The Wireless Power Consortium is the developer of Qi wireless charging, the dominant standard.
  • Powermat will contribute its technology to the WPC and develop chargers that support both standards.

For almost as long as wireless charging has existed, there have been competing standards. We currently have Qi and Powermat, but the race hasn’t been close for a long time. Qi has dominated for a few years now, and with the newest iPhones hitting the market with Qi support, the writing has been on the wall. Now, Powermat has joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the developer of Qi.

Wireless charging "at a distance" on its way to smartphones and other gadgets

So, what exactly does this mean? In the immediate future, Powermat will contribute its technology to the WPC. It’ll continue to develop wireless charging technology that maintains backward compatibility with Qi as well. Long-term, we’ll probably see it ship chargers with both Qi and PMA standards like its newest Charging Spot 4.0.

The final blow seems to be the introduction of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. All three phones support Qi instead of Powermat. Starbucks outfitted its stores with wireless chargers three years ago and went with Powermat at the time. Recently, it had to update all of them to support Qi as well for the new iPhones.

In a statement, Powermat CEO Elad Dubzinksi all but confirmed that Apple’s move forced Powermat’s hand:

Qi has become the dominant wireless charging standard on the market and the recently launched Apple iPhone lineup is evidence of this success. Powermat will share technology innovation to further unlock wireless charging potential, and will expedite the growth of the wireless charging infrastructure.

Powermat joining the WPC should be a win for customers. With the combined technologies of Powermat and the WPC, wireless charging should get better and simpler.

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