The number of devices enabled with wireless charging will exceed 200 million units a year for the first time in 2016, according to the latest IHS Markit (www.ihs.com) forecast. Driven by shipments in mobile phones and wearables, this represents a 40% increase over 2015 levels as more consumers experience wireless charging for the first time, according to the research group.
Earlier this year, the IHS Markit consumer survey showed that one in four people has now used wireless charging and more than 98% of those would choose the feature again on their next phone. Both consumer demand for the feature and the volume of enabled devices are growing each year.
However, the market will still fall short of original expectations that it could have reached 250 million receivers shipped this year. A combination of reasons drove this, in particular the exclusion of wireless charging on flagship mobile phones (such as the iPhone 7) and the continued wait for the first resonant receiver systems and wireless charging-enabled laptops. In the automotive market, in-cabin wireless charging continues to grow well.
However,the first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) wireless electric vehicles won’t be launched until late 2017, with Mercedes-Benz the first manufacturer to announce its intention to launch with the 2017 S-Class 500 e.
The result is a downgraded short-term forecast, as the wait for more major receiver products continues. The impact will be lessened in the long term as adoption will ramp up and IHS Markit still predicts the market to exceed one billion receivers shipped per year by 2020, with mobile phones and wearables as the two largest product categories.