Samsung boosts wireless charging industry

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100 million wireless charging enabled receivers predicted to be shipped by industry in 2015

IKEA wireless chargers

By David Green, Analyst, IHS Technology

Key points:

-The Samsung announcement is the first large step in 2015 for wireless charging in what looks to be a breakthrough year for the technology.
-IHS expects dual-mode (PMA/Qi inductive) receiver solutions are likely to be an increasing trend for new product announcements over the rest of 2015.
-IHS forecasts total shipments numbers to break through 100 million unit barrier by the end of the year just from mobile handsets.

Analysis:

Samsung announced the release of its new flagship smartphones – the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge. Both phones feature built-in capabilities for wireless charging certified to both PMA and Qi standards.

Whilst the adoption of wireless inductive charging into mobile phones is not itself a new concept (for example the Nokia Lumia 930 has a Qi-standard receiver built in), this announcement from Samsung provides a huge boost to the wireless power industry with its potential to drive market awareness and shipment volumes.

The decision to provide a ‘dual-mode’ receiver capable of receiving power from either a PMA or Qi transmitter is also an interesting step. Infrastructure investment is on the increase, as shown by recent tie-ups such as Starbucks with PMA in the USA, and the IKEA announcement of Qi-equipped furniture at MWC.

However, manufacturers are clearly focused on providing a seamless charging experience for their end-user, where interoperability is extremely important. Therefore, IHS expects dual-mode (PMA/Qi inductive) receiver solutions are likely to be an increasing trend for new product announcements over the rest of 2015 – whilst tri-modal solutions that also include resonant technology (such as the A4WP Rezence standard) become more likely in the medium-to-long term.

Analysis from the upcoming 2015 IHS Wireless Power Report suggest that this announcement will clearly drive a huge increase in receiver shipments for 2015, with total shipments forecast to break through 100 million unit barrier by the end of the year just from mobile handsets.

With further inductive and resonant product releases also expected later this year across numerous applications – such as the new Intel chip architecture of Skylake including Rezence-standard loosely-coupled charging – this Samsung announcement is the first large step in 2015 for wireless charging in what looks to be a breakthrough year for the technology.

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