A new report from industry researcher IHS predicts that global revenues for wireless power receivers and transmitters will reach more than $1.7 billion this year, as makers of cell phones and wearable technology continue to seek new and better wireless charging solutions.
Shipments of wireless power receivers in mobile phone handsets alone will exceed 120 million units this year, boosted by the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, IHS said. Spurred by sales of the Apple Watch, shipments of wireless power receivers for wearable technology are also expected to rise to more than 20 million units in 2015, the researcher said.
“2015 looks to be a breakthrough year for wireless power technology,” David Green, research manager for power supplies and wireless power at IHS Technology, said in announcing the new report. “Major product launches earlier this year have revealed a clear commitment to wireless charging from leading brands. Firstly, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones were announced at Mobile World Congress in March, boasting integrated Qi- and PMA- standard tightly coupled inductive charging. Secondly, the Apple Watch was launched later in the month, featuring a proprietary tightly coupled inductive solution.”
Such announcements are expected to help raise awareness of wireless power technology among consumers—most of whom know little about the technology, according to IHS survey data.
“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.
Overcoming negativity will require developing a stronger focus on interoperability, particularly between competing standard-setting groups surrounding the technology.
“End users do not care which technology or standard their device uses, they just want it to work well,” Green said. “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.”
Regardless of how it plays out, IHS predicts that revenue in the wireless power technology industry will grow by nearly $15 billion a year through 2024.