Wireless charging is a relatively new technology in the mobile scene where an electromagnetic field is used to charge a device. At present there are two major standards competing as to which one will be adopted by the general public. One standard is the Power Matters Alliance which is led by Powermat Technologies and Procter & Gamble while the other standard is Qi which is managed by the Wireless Power Consortium.
Power Matters Alliance recently got a big boost as major players in the industry have signified their support for the technology. HTC, LG and Samsung have joined the PMA which has seen a tenfold increase in membership in the past 5 months. Other major players who already support this standard are BlackBerry, ZTE, Huawei, and more.
AT&T has also previously announced that they will be dropping the Qi wireless charging standard in favor of PMA. The company announced that they will be integrating the PMA wireless charging standard in select smartphones by 2014. These smartphones are yet to be announced but it likely that the models will be coming from PMA partners. Implementation wireless charging on devices could be done integrated directly into the chipset or through an add-on device called a Wireless Charging Card.
According to said Jeff Howard, Vice President, Mobile Devices and Accessories at AT&T, and a PMA Board member “We want to welcome HTC, LG and Samsung to the PMA. “AT&T fully supports the concept of an industry standard for wireless power. In an effort to move toward making this a reality for consumers worldwide and in direct support for the public ecosystem roll out led by Powermat, we have asked our device suppliers to integrate PMA-certified wireless charging solutions by 2014. In the meantime, we are working with them to deploy PMA-certified handsets and accessories as quickly as possible.”
PMA has currently over 1,500 charging spots located all across the US. They are located in several areas including Starbucks coffee shops, airports, The Garden State Plaza Mall, and Madison Square Garden just to name a few.
If you are wondering where Apple stands in all of this the answer is that the company has not committed to any wireless charging standard yet. If ever the company does offer wireless charging on their devices then it will more likely be a proprietary system that they will be developing.