Korea has experienced rapid adoption, largely due to promotion that cell phone manufacturers and carriers have provided by bundling wireless chargers with cell phone purchases at no additional cost to the consumer.
In the US, adoption of wireless power is also established and advancing quickly. In stark contrast, Europe has been slower on the uptake.
What could the reason for this be, and what can be done to accelerate consumer adoption of wireless power in Europe?
Firstly, some important developments have been made by European firms and universities, such as Powerkiss and Nokia. However, there is no one carrier taking a major cheerleader role in the EU and therefore there is no one promoting the facts and benefits of wireless power to consumers. Such a company is badly needed. It's true that there is some interest from major operators in being the acknowledged leader but, as yet, none has made a decisive move. This may be due to the fact that operators have lower control over the whole wireless power eco-system than their US equivalents, where AT&T is performing this role.
A key point in achieving wireless power adoption is consumer awareness and interest. Raising consumer engagement of wireless charging via the typical advertisement channels is something which can be done on a global and regional basis, but is perhaps lacking to date. The industry is still in its infancy, so penetration is still low and the average person on the street probably does not know what wireless power is.
The US is much further ahead in terms of consumer awareness and support from important players such as some hospitality chains. This increased interest, and support from big retail chains to build scale and awareness, is still needed in Europe. Market evolution is now depending on classical factors such as marketing, technology availability and cost structure evolution, and of course consumer opinion about the relative advantages of such technology.
Mobile carriers play a role when it comes to wireless power implementation in the EU, in fact, it could be that the application of wireless power in mobile phones will make or break this market. In order for wireless power to succeed globally, a transition is needed. Today, the market is mostly driven by accessory purchases; this must adapt to a point where wireless power functionality is integrated into full product lines of phones.
Similarly, the most important point is that the industry provides interoperable solutions. This way market evolution will happen faster, and consumers will get the full benefit of wireless charging convenience. Devices are now available that have wireless charging capabilities built-in, but there is still a low level of consumer awareness regarding what wireless charging actually is. This creates the possibility of consumers purchasing an enabled device and not being aware it even has wireless charging capabilities, therefore having no incentive to purchase a compatible charger. Thus, there needs to be greater cooperation between the various standards efforts in order to drive interoperability and economies of scale, and consumer friendly charging pads to encourage sales.
With growth and awareness in the market predicted to be led by adoption in cell phones and tablets, this market is inherently destined to become global.
What are the next steps towards making wireless power a truly global market?
Wireless Power Europe 2014 promises to provide a roadmap for future covering standards updates, consumer equipment, market forecasts, and case studies from retailers and operators.
The Wireless Power conference is a renowned and international gathering of engineers, strategic managers, innovation directors, technology officers and more. This event provides a unique opportunity to interact with the top professionals from around the globe who are devoted to increasing the profitability and global adoption of wireless power. To find out how this market can move towards adoption on a global scale, don't miss out and book your place at Wireless Power Europe 2014 now.