Wireless mobile charging hitting market stride

Uptrend in mobile device ownership fueling opportunity for wireless charging systems, with market revenues expected to reach US$4.3 billion in 2014, new report notes.

The proliferation and growing ownership of mobile devices, coupled with the inconvenience of managing different proprietary charging options, are boosting the market opportunity for wireless charging systems, according to a new report from In-Stat.

The receptivity of such wireless charging systems will push global revenues to US$4.3 billion by 2014, the research firm said Wednesday in a statement. The costs of these products will also drop steadily over the next few years, with pricing in 2014 reaching about half of current rates.

In-Stat defines wireless charging systems as products that allow devices, ranging from handsets to portable PCs, to be charged by touching or being in close proximity to a charging station.

Wireless charging offerings also possess another advantage: they can be hidden or seamlessly integrated into furniture or automobiles. According to In-Stat, more than two-third of integrated charging options will be found in cars.

Citing a survey it conducted, the research company noted that about 44 percent of users found current mobile charging options an annoyance. Up to 40 percent were willing to pay US$50 more, depending on the mobile device, for a wireless charging offering.

"We are really just now beginning to see the true market potential for wireless charging solutions," Jim McGregor, In-Stat's chief technology strategist, said in the statement. "Like many other technology markets, it will start with add-on and third-party solutions. Eventually, solutions will be integrated into many mobile electronics as costs decrease and demand increases.

"While still a fraction of the overall mobile device segment, wireless charging is just beginning to hit its stride in the market," McGregor said.

Last month, the Wireless Power Consortium finalized the Qi standard for wirelessly charging of mobile devices, paving the way for commercialization of charging products.

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