Wireless power to see 'breakthrough' year of $1.7B in revenue

Fueled by new products that support the technology including Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Apple Watch, wireless power receivers and transmitters will generate more than US$1.7 billion in revenue this year.

Wireless power receivers and transmitters are expected to generate revenues worth more than US$1.7 billion globally this year, fueled by new products that support the technology.

Revenue is further projected to grow by nearly US$15 billion each year through to 2024, said market researcher IHS Technology in a report Tuesday.

It added that shipment for wireless power receivers was expected to have reached 55 million units last year, and will climb 4,000 percent to more than 2 billion units in 2024.

More than 120 million units of wireless power receivers in mobile phones will be shipped this year, thanks to the anticipated launch of Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge next month. Wireless power receivers in wearable devices also are expected to increase to more than 20 million units with the availability of Apple Watch.

"2015 looks to be a breakthrough year for wireless power technology," said David Green, research manager for power supplies and wireless power for IHS. "Major product launches earlier this year have revealed a clear commitment to wireless charging from leading brands."

He pointed to the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, which tout integrated Qi- and PMA- standard "tightly coupled with inductive charging". Green added that the Apple Watch was unveiled to also feature a proprietary tightly coupled inductive technology.

These new products would help increase public awareness--and demand--about wireless charging, which was an unknown concept to 63 percent of consumers polled last year by IHS. "However, the worst-case scenario is not that customers have never heard of wireless charging, but that the only experience they ever had was negative," Green said.

"End-users do not care which technology or standard their device uses, they just want it to work well. Magnetic resonance solutions clearly offer advantages in spatial freedom, but delays in getting commercially available products to the market have increased the opportunity for tightly coupled inductive solutions, such as the dual-mode receiver in new Samsung smartphones," he noted.

He urged for interoperability between competing certification standards set by the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi, Power Matters Alliance, and Alliance for Wireless Power's Rezence.

IHS said multi-mode receivers that support more than one tech technology are expected to account for 30 percent of the overall market by 2018, noting that several chip makers already have unveiled such technology offerings, including tri-modal products that support the Qi, PMA, Rezence standards.

"Whether a single, long-term solution will win out still remains to be seen, but it seems that dual-mode charging will be the most popular short-term solution," Green said. "Beyond that, all eyes are on new product announcements this year, potentially including the Intel Rezence solution, as we continue to see the biggest year ever for the wireless power industry."