We live in a world filled with quad and octa-core superphones, with resolutions that are as high as QHD. Screen sizes have increased, storage sizes have gotten bigger. The evolution of the phone can be seen in almost every component… and then there’s battery life. While batteries are getting a little bigger to compensate for increased energy demand, overall battery lifespans are about the same as ever.
At least until next-gen battery technologies surface that allow greater battery life, most manufacturers are instead settling with making the charging experience a little more convenient, pushing quick chargers and wireless charging. Speaking of the latter technology, a new report from research firm IHS has just been published indicating that total wireless power receiver shipments hit 55 million units in 2014, with the firm predicting that the figure will jump to more than 120 million this year.
At least until next-gen battery technologies surface that allow greater battery life, most manufacturers are instead settling with making the charging experience a little more convenient, pushing quick chargers and wireless charging.
While quick charging is just now starting to take off, mostly in flagship level devices, wireless charging compatibility is increasingly common in mid and high-end smartphones. The only catch is that OEMs don’t generally include wireless chargers with new phones, and so it’s up to consumers to purchase them separately.
Convincing consumers to buy a wireless charger isn’t always easy, especially if buyers don’t realize that their phones can wirelessly charge in the first place, or if they simply haven’t been convinced of the merit of such technology. An extra barrier is the fact that there are multiple wireless charging standards out there that aren’t reverse compatible, so consumers must know enough about the charging mats they intend to buy to ensure they work with their phones.
A few reasons why wireless growth seems inevitable
So why is IHS so confident that wireless charging shipments will more than double this year when compared to 2014?
First, there’s the fact that Samsung is aggressively pushing wireless charging with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. These two handsets are the first Android smartphones to support both PMA and QI charging standards — the two most commonly used wireless charging standards on the market. And it seems probable that Samsung will repeat this move with other devices, such as the Note 5, later this year.
You might also recall an article we published last month about Ikea’s plans to introduce furniture that has QI charging baked right in. This would include items like tablets, sofas, and the list goes on. The first products to offer QI charging from Ikea will be rolling out next month.
There are likely plenty of other reasons, like consumers growing tired of cord clutter and the fact more phones are incorporating wireless technology, but bottom-line is that this market is just starting to really heat up. The wireless charging industry is expected to reach revenue levels of $1.7 billion this year, with industry revenue anticipated to jump as high as $15 billion by 2024.
Right now, wireless charging is limited to a pad, and is arguably not that much more convenient than simply plugging in a cord. This will change in the future, as technologies from Energous and Ossia Cota aim to deliver wireless charging over distances higher than 15 feet. We imagine that this is really only the beginning.