The market for power adapters and chargers is forecast to grow by $2 billion from 2012 to 2017, driven by new applications like tablets that will counteract a decline in cellphone charging, forecasts market analyst IMS Research, part of IHS.
"While shipments of cellphone chargers are forecast to drop off, the adoption of emerging applications such as tablets, wireless power and charging, and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is predicted to occur rapidly and drive growth, offsetting the loss in the cellphone segment," said Jonathan Eykyn, analyst for power management & conversion research at IHS.
One challenge that I find with old adapters is that they are not necessarily obviously connected to their host devices. It can take a bit of mixing and matching to find the adapter with the right connector. A benefit of USB charging (even if it is slow): I no longer need to worry about the voltage, pin-out, current, and connector type.
At least there is some standardization across product lines, e.g., Dell laptops and Motorola 2G phones like the RAZR (which adopted mini-USB). Second hand resale sites like Craigslist would be a great way to sell an old charger from a dead cell phone or computer (if it can't be used as a spare) and likewise, check on those sites before rushing off to Best Buy or Amazon.com ...
The market for power adapters is one of the tragic consequences of our disposable culture. Most of have enough discarded power adapters to populate a third world village - but each device requires a new incompatible one. Talk of standardization in telephone charger connectors (and the advent of USB charged devices) helps but we have a long way to go.
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