Wireless Charging: Where We’re At

April 7, 2017

Wireless charging is having its moment. The ability to charge one’s phone without the hassle of finding a charging cable and an outlet may seem like a pipe dream, but the world’s biggest companies are all scrambling to bring wireless charging – a.k.a. inductive charging – into mass adoption. From tech giants like Apple and Samsung to outsiders like IKEA and, most recently, Disney, companies of various industries are committed to making wireless charging a reality in order to keep up with our growing consumption of smartphones and other portable electronics.

While tech companies often seem to come up with products no one asked for or needs (Apple Watch, anyone?), wireless charging is a practical technology that has reached peak buzz. According to IHS Inc., consumer awareness of wireless charging technology doubled (to 76%) in 2015. The graph below, from Google Trends, further illustrates the rising interest in wireless charging over the last 5 years in the United States:

Consumers are not only aware of the notion of wireless charging, they’re positively demanding it. Google’s Keyword Planner tool indicates that the keyword “wireless chargers” is googled a whopping 27,100 times per month in the US alone! “Wireless charging” isn’t far behind, with an average of 14,800 monthly searches. Similarly, “qi wireless charging” – the leading wireless charging standard that allows you to charge a compatible device’s battery through induction transfer by placing the device on top of a wireless pad – is also gaining popularity with 6,600 searches per month.

IHS Technology analyst Vicky Yussuff recently revealed in a USA Today interview that 90% of the consumers IHS has surveyed said they want a wireless charging feature on their next mobile device. She also stated that shipments of wireless charging