WPC chairman Menno Treffers believes that critical mass is on his
group's side. Already there are 8.5 million Qi-enabled products, covered
by 110 certified designs, in circulation. About 2 million of those are
in Japan according to WPC.
"In Japan Qi is definitely catching
on. NTT Docomo has said it will be in all its smartphones." Also,
Treffers said, Samsung includes a couple of pins in the battery
compartment of the Galaxy S3 ready for wireless charging.
Treffers argues that, ultimately, it will be the mobile phone makers and
mobile network operators that will define how wireless charging is
implemented. "The carriers and mobile phone companies don't want to be
locked-in or expected to pay patent license royalties. The Wireless
Power Consortium is royalty-free," he said.
"There will be a free market because an open standard is better than a proprietary situation," he added.
There is still one major name in mobile devices that is uncommitted and that has a history of doing things in a proprietary way.
Apple wants to do wireless charging they could go proprietary – like
the Apple connector. Similarly an Android standard could co-exist for a
while. But the charging market will end up converging to a single
standard," Treffers said.
Treffers is convinced the convenience
of wireless charging, and avoiding carrying multiple proprietary wired
chargers will eventually drive adoption. But he acknowledges there is a
trade-off between convenience and energy consumption, because wireless
charging cannot be 100 percent efficient.
energy transfer efficiencies are about 70 percent going up to 80 to 85
percent efficient with careful design, more copper and better shielding,
Related links and articles:
Qualcomm, Samsung form wireless power alliance
How Intel can use wireless charging to attack ARM
IDT charges ahead with Intel on wireless power