The wireless charging market is set to witness explosive growth during the next three years claims a leading research company. In Australia several companies, including Uniden and Powermat, have launched new products in recent months with brands like Duracell, and Research In Motion, who made the Blackberry set to enter the market
According to an iSuppli report the market is set to explode by a factor of 65 in four years, from 3.6 million units in 2010 to 234.9 million units in 2014.
Click to enlarge
The figure represents worldwide shipments of product-specific wireless charging solutions — systems that consist of a charger as well as a “skin” or receiver sold for specific devices. These product-specific devices contrast with aftermarket solutions, which comprise universal chargers and various skins that can be utilized with multiple CE devices.
Currently several high-profile manufacturers are examining the feasibility of producing wireless charging solutions. The companies include Texas Instruments and ST-Ericsson on the semiconductor side; Nokia and Research In Motion from the device manufacturer side; and Logitech International and Case-Mate from the accessories manufacturer side.
Click to enlarge
Retailers such as as Officeworks, Dick Smith and JB Hi Fi will benefit most from the growth as most devices fall below $200. Set to enter the market is Duracell, who currently license a charger from WildCharge, along with several other companies who currently sell batteries.
Growth is also projected for aftermarket wireless charging, with revenue rising at a massive five-year compound annual growth rate of 133.4 per cent.
The company believes it will take several years for manufacturers to fully implement wireless charging in their devices. In particular, manufacturers will need to consider how to integrate wireless charging into the design of printed circuit boards, and significant adoption of wireless charging technology will be needed to drive down costs.
One way to spur adoption by the market is for the wireless charging industry to adopt a common standard that would ensure interoperability among the solutions being developed. At present, all commercial solutions are based on proprietary technology, and the skin made by one company, for example, will not work with the charger pad of another.
“Until the industry finds a standard to follow, the wireless charging industry will be fragmented, and consumers will hesitate to adopt any solution that could be compromised by the rival companies,” Tina Teng, senior analyst for wireless research at iSuppli, said. “However, an open, standardized system will create a healthier competitive environment and prompt manufacturers to join forces — which will enhance consumer awareness and lead to adoption in the markets.”
Of the four current wireless charging technologies in place today, magnetic inductive coupling is the most widely adopted, according to iSuppli. The technology enjoys wide support from semiconductor vendors, device manufacturers, accessories makers as well as retailers. Powermat, which is distributed in Australia by Simms International, had 62 per cent share of the wireless charging market in 2009 — the largest slice in the industry.