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Expansion of Wireless Charging Ecosystem Led by Samsung to be Accelerated
Power Overwhelming
Expansion of Wireless Charging Ecosystem Led by Samsung to be Accelerated
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • June 4, 2015, 03:30
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A Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone and its wireless charging station.
A Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone and its wireless charging station.

 

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), a wireless power standards body led by Samsung Electronics, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, and Intel, announced an official merger with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), in which Starbucks and AT&T are members. The merger will create a large organization with 170 member companies. The A4WP and PMA alliance is seeking to commercialize wireless charging technologies for mobile devices, cars, and PCs.

According to the A4WP and PMA on June 3, the two groups announced their official merger on June 1, and will create a new wireless charging body soon. Board members like Samsung, Intel, Qualcomm, AT&T, and Starbucks will maintain their existing position, planning to lead the efforts to commercialize wireless charging technologies in each area.

So far, the A4WP, the PMA, and the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) have competed in the wireless charging market. Among them, the WPC is the body behind the Qi standard, the most popular in the industry. It has become the industry's largest wireless charging body with 290 members, including LG Electronics, Nokia, and Panasonic. However, the deal will serve as an opportunity for the A4WP and PMA alliance to outnumber the WPC.

The A4WP led by Samsung has been working to develop Rezence, a wireless charging standard that uses the principles of magnetic resonance capable of charging multiple devices with different power requirements at the same time. The magnetic resonance method also makes wireless charging possible in terms of charging distance between a charging pad and a mobile device. However, its commercialization has been difficult. Samsung also showcased a Rezence-certified wireless charging device prototype using magnetic resonance last year, but the company also unveiled a wireless charging device for the Galaxy S6 using the magnetic inductive charging method.

On the other hand, large companies like Starbucks and McDonalds have already adopted the PMA standard, and its commercialization is already under way. In particular, the standard has a huge influence in the U.S., the largest market. As a result, Samsung is likely to greatly expand the supply of the magnetic inductive charging method that was introduced to the Galaxy S6, based on the merger. The Korean tech giant has already installed wireless charging pads to Starbucks stores in the U.S., McDonald's stores in London, local Tom 'N' Tom's stores and Artisee Cafe, providing customers with opportunities to experience the technology.

The industry interprets the move as a strategy for combining both groups' technologies and creating numerous business opportunities. In fact, the A4WP and PMA forged a business partnership last year, and they have been freely using the other party's technology ever since.