While this week's news of Apple joining the Wireless Power Consortium doesn’t offer absolute clarity of Apple’s future plans (besides hinting that the next iPhone will support wireless charging), it does reveal some things to the wireless power industry as a whole.
NuCurrent, a company that is integrating wireless power into everything from wearables to phones to IoT to furniture and even automobiles, and CEO Jacob Babcock has outlined just a few of the revelations from the news and how it will create ripple effects in many other industries:
- Apple adding wireless power in its phones seems highly likely now. The technology is proven, available and in demand by customers, and their competitors have done it for two-plus years.
- Apple including wireless power in its phone and, potentially, a broader array of its devices (iPads, MacBooks, etc.) will create an unprecedented level of awareness for wireless power transfer that will create ripple effects in many other industries that are related to the mobile industry, namely on the infrastructure (charger) side.
- The 20-plus vehicle models that have wireless power as a factory option will likely make this standard. Also, consumers would seek out the feature in vehicles making it a key feature/decision point when buying a new car.
- Hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and bars will be installing and purchasing transmitter equipment to support wireless charging for their customers. With Apple and Samsung both including wireless charging in its devices, the hospitality industry will deploy rapidly to take advantage.
- Furniture companies will increasingly offer furniture that embeds wireless power since it is a cleaner, clutter-free, convenient way for consumers to charge their devices. Many new constructions are already planning to install wireless power at all work stations and in all conference rooms. The Apple news will only accelerate this.
- Apple adopting wireless power in its mobile phones and/or other devices will create "table stakes" for all mobile phone/other device companies to include wireless power in its devices.
- Apple's inclusion of wireless power will also accelerate adoption of wireless power in unrelated products due to unprecedented awareness and reduction in component cost. Consumer electronics (non-mobile), medical device, industrial automation, inventory controls, energy and other non-mobile device businesses will be aware of the convenience, safety and reliability of wireless power due to the Apple devices, and will accelerate plans to include wireless power in their devices.
- The economies of scale driven by Apple adoption (and other fast followers) will create a lower cost opportunity for new companies to adopt wireless power.