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Wireless power market to hit $4.5B by 2016

Posted: 12 Aug 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless power? Qi standard? inductive charging?

As a case of the bandwagon effect, more and more companies are trying to profit from the smartphone explosion. Because of this, the worldwide wireless power components and accessories market expects 85.5 percent annually growth through 2016, reaching $4.5 billionup from just $100 million in 2010, according to IMS Research.

"From the beginning, different wireless power technologies haven't played nicely with each other," stated Jason dePreaux, research manager at IMS Research. "While trailblazers Palm and Powermat both share similar inductive charging approaches, their products are incompatible with one another. Last year, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) unveiled its own standard called Qi that several big name mobile phone makers have begun to incorporate into recent products on an accessory basis."

IMS Research expects battle lines for an industry standard to be drawn around two different implementations of wireless power. One camp comprises companies promoting tightly coupled wireless charging that requires devices to be in close proximity to the charger. Both market leader Powermat and WPC's Qi specification are examples of tightly coupled wireless charging.

The other camp, which includes Qualcomm and Witricity, use magnetic resonance that does not require the device and charger to be so close. However, no products that use loosely coupled charging techniques have been released yet and still needs to undergo safety and emissions testing.

"Ultimately, it will be self-defeating for the industry to continue to pursue non-interoperable standards long-term," noted dePreaux. "Our forecast assumes that while competition will be fierce in the near term, a combination of market forces and industry alliances will coalesce to form a de facto standard for interoperability in the next several years."

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