Digitimes reports that Samsung will adopt the Qi wireless charging standard for their upcoming Galaxy S IV. Recent smartphones like the LG Nexus 4, HTC Droid DNA, and Nokia Lumia 920 have all supported the Qi charging standard out of the box, but the wireless charging technology is still not very widespread and accessories are limited.
A representative from the Wireless Power Consortium told me that they estimate there are around 10 million Qi-enabled devices world wide. Analysts are predicting that Samsung could sell 100 million units of the Galaxy S IV, so that could increase the number of Qi devices by a factor of 10.
Some may remember that Samsung and Qualcomm created the Alliance 4 Wireless Power to push another wireless charging technology, but that is not expected to appear in devices until 2014 or later. Our sources tell us that technology from A4WP will be backwards compatible with Qi, so it makes sense for Samsung to use Qi in the Galaxy S IV, as it’s the most widely supported standard for now.
It is unclear if Samsung will embed the wireless charging technology or require users to purchase replacement back covers, but we are hoping that Samsung makes the feature standard. We have witnessed Samsung pushing their flip-covers in recent TV ads and we know those products are high margin, but we think that Samsung could create a whole new industry of wireless charging accessories if they just include Qi out of the box.
I own the LG Nexus 4 and use the LG wireless charging orb, but I have been longing to see wireless charging built into furniture accessories like a coffee table or night stand. We have seen several companies produce furniture prototypes (see my hands-on video from CES 2011), but none are currently available for sale.
Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S IV on March 14th, so we shouldn’t have to wait much longer to see if these reports are true.
Is wireless charging a feature you would like to see included on your next Android phone?