Consumer awareness of wireless charging technology has doubled, reaching 76 percent of consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and China in the last 12 months. In 2014 only 36 percent of consumers said they had heard of wireless charging technology, according to a recent consumer survey conducted by IHS Inc.
“This year is proving to be a breakthrough year for wireless charging, as a substantial majority of consumers are now aware of it,” said Vicky Yussuff, analyst for wireless power at IHS Technology. “A key factor behind this growth in awareness was the adoption of wireless charging by Samsung, Apple and other high profile volume manufacturers, as well as rising recognition of the wireless charging infrastructure available in the public sector.”
Shipments of wireless power receivers in mobile phone handsets alone are expected to exceed 120 million units in 2015, boosted by sales of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. In the wearable electronics market, shipments of wireless charging receivers are expected to rise to more than 20 million units in 2015; the Apple Watch is projected to take a dominant share of more than 70 percent of total revenue in wireless-charging-enabled wearable devices.
“These major product roll outs reveal a clear commitment to wireless charging from leading brands,” said David Green, research manager for wireless power at IHS Technology. “Apple, Samsung and others have certainly helped raise consumer awareness, which in turn can help drive demand. Further examples include the LG G4 and special Verizon edition of the Sony Xperia, both with dual-mode Qi and PMA standard wireless charging and the recent BMW 7 series and other automotive announcements.”
Announcements earlier this year from Starbucks and McDonalds to roll out wireless charging stations in their stores has focused attention on wireless charging in the hospitality sector. Of all consumers who have used wireless charging at least once, 55 percent said they have used wireless charging in a public place.
Only 20 Percent of Consumers are Actually Using Wireless Charging
Despite the significant increase in awareness, the IHS Wireless Charging Consumer Insights Report, which surveyed consumers in the United Kingdom, United States and China, found that only 20 percent of respondents are actually using wireless charging technology, and only 16 percent of those said they use it to charge their devices on a daily basis.
“Most current users are using wireless charging to supplement wired charging, rather than as their primary charging method,” Yussuff said. “The first step to convert awareness into actual adoption is to correctly identify the customer proposition, ensure the technology is available and offer it at a reasonable price. The second step is to implement the technology effectively. Wireless charging must be executed in a way that is logical to the user and easy to use, so users will actually enjoy their experiences and will want to continue using it. As this starts to happen, we will see increasing numbers of consumers using wireless charging as their primary way to charge their mobile devices.”
The three common improvements in wireless charging that consumers would like to see are the following:
- Lower prices for wireless charging.
- The ability to charge more than one device at any time on a single charger.
- Improvements in wireless charging speed — Although suppliers are already developing higher power wireless charging solutions, speed is currently limited by receiver chip-power ratings.
“Nine in 10 consumers who have used wireless charging reported being satisfied with their current solution, which suggests that the wireless charging solutions available today are already matching consumer needs and expectations,” Green said. “Effectively this is the customer retention rate for wireless charging , and any company in the world would take a customer retention rate of 90 percent for any product.”