Wireless charging is the process in which various batteries (of gadgets or mechanisms) are charged using the wireless chargers. Although, less efficient than traditional wire-based chargers, wireless chargers provide the desired comfort and ease of use associated with the absence of wires and cables. Psychologically, it may appear that it takes less time to place the gadget on a wireless cradle than to hook it up to an adapter’s wire, although it may be much safer to use wireless chargers than traditional chargers if charging electric vehicles (EV) or other high-power mechanisms. The focus of my report is on universal wireless charger for handheld devices.
1. Identify what’s currently happening in the business environment.
Although the global economic conditions in many parts of the world are unstable and many local economies are weak, the market for wireless charging looks rather promising in the West. It is necessary to note that wireless charging does not necessarily have to apply only to small handheld phones, iPads or gadgets, but can be used in other industries. In fact, in Asia, wireless charging is already applied to EV (electricity powered vehicles), as illustrated in Image 1, in the addendum section. An EV can be charged wirelessly while standing on an equipped parking lot via the power of induction (inductive pickup of electricity).
All modern wireless charging is based on the principles of induction, i.e. the physical principles discovered back in the early XX century. Radio frequency and magnetic resonance charging are less popular wireless charging alternatives to induction. There exist no legal or regulatory limitations for wireless charging, except for the precautionary measures that govern all electric devices, gadgets or high-voltage mechanisms (if speaking about EV wireless charging). Wireless charging provides special convenience for EV motorists and users of other battery-operated gadgets/mechanisms. Given the modern trend for electric vehicles one can expect the demand for wireless chargers to grow too.
2. Define the industry and determine the outlook.
The industry for wireless charging is vast, since inductive (wireless) charging can be applied in virtually any mechanism that uses batteries. Image 2 shows that wireless charging industry is expected to grow to over $14 billion by 2020. Some claim the figure will grow as high as $25 billion (DataWeek Report 2011). The main applications are expected to be in consumer electronics, industrial applications, and electric vehicles, military and mobile devices. Another research states: “Market research firm IHS Technology predicts that global revenue from wireless charging technology will rise by nearly a factor of 40 by 2018. It sees sales rising from $216 million in 2013 to $785 million this year, and soaring to $8.5 billion in 2018” (Seitz, 2014). Another analyst argues that “According to 6Wresearch, the Global Wireless Charging market is expected to reach $9,947.4 million by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 42.6% during the period 2013-2018.” (6Wresearch, 2013). Image 3 shows that Asia-Pacific are expected to account for the greatest share of the revenue (~43%) by 2020. North America and Western Europe will account for 25% and 23% correspondingly.
The wireless charging currently is already being considered as a viable option and a marketing innovation by major corporations, either auto-makers or producers of electronics. Since the technology finds application in the military, major military corporations also consider the use in military vehicles (primarily drones). Although, it is hard to make accurate prediction about the future of the wireless charging without working directly in one of these corporations, the publicly available information predicts rapid growth of wireless charging technology in the next 5 years as mentioned previously in the paper. In the handheld gadgets market wireless charging provides the coveted freedom from wires chargers/adaptors that accompany most modern handheld gadgets.
The major implications for potential opportunities involve the standardization and unification of the charging technologies that can allow a single wireless charger to work with different gadgets. Currently, various producers of adaptors and chargers use different proprietary ports and connections, making it difficult for a person with iPhone to charge his Sony phone. It is even more difficult for a person with a laptop to charge the battery if no one else has a special charger or has a charger for a cell phone. The wireless chargers, at least in theory can be easily adjusted to charge ANY gadget as long as one can alter the induction. It is for this reason one can build one single wireless charger than can charge all handheld gadgets. Speaking about consumer electronics, one universal wireless charger is expected to be of the greatest demand.
3. Dive into the details of your competitors.
Speaking about the competition, it is necessary to note that all major multinational corporations that deal with consumer electronics, wireless gadgets, and handheld devices already consider the use of wireless chargers for their products. The same can be said about the auto-makers of EV that consider the use of wireless chargers for autos to make the EV more convenient.
I am convinced that my product, universal wireless charger, can be of great demand by the electronics fans simply because by enabling the user to alter the induction it is possible to use the wireless charger to charge all devices equipped with induction coil. It is for this reason, my universal charger can be bought separately and used with various consumer electronics gadgets. The consumers will no longer have to think about several different wireless chargers, each meant for a different specific gadget, when a single charger (with options to charge phones, laptops, or handhelds) is available.
4. Describe your target market.
My ideal customer is the fan of different gadgets and an early adopter. When wireless chargers only enter the modern gadgets market, various companies, create different wireless gadgets for their diverse products, similarly to how they created different plug-in chargers for their gadgets. My ideal customer will certainly like the ease and convenience of wireless charging but will hate having 3 different wireless chargers, one for a phone, one for a handheld, and one for a laptop. My ideal customer is looking for an alternative that can satisfy his/her need for wireless charging yet without having to carry several chargers with them. My universal wireless charger will have three buttons that regulate the induction output and thus allow the charger work with different types of gadgets, induction coils and batteries. Certainly when producing and marketing the product it will be necessary to consider the trendy looks and design as well as run a marketing survey/research to determine what the consumers really want. For instance, they may want a wireless charger that charges only all cell phones and handhelds, and not laptops, but which weighs a little, as opposed to bulkier wireless charger than can charge all gadgets. Furthermore, some consumers, for instance, may want to have a universal charger than not only charges gadgets wirelessly, but also has a plug-in output to also charge those gadgets that cannot be charged wirelessly. It is for this reason, additional marketing research must be done to determine what kind charger one should market, taking into account the needs of the chosen target market and its segments.
One will be able to reach the market using any of the available, ‘traditional’ means ranging from advertising in the consumer electronics magazines, to running online ads, to selling the products directly on the Amazon.com website.
5. Create your projections.
When creating my projections it is necessary to consider three scenarios: pessimistic, optimistic and realistic. These scenarios are further based on the industry reports, gut feeling and the information obtained from the competent people, such as investors. The product is expected to provide trapped and new value to the consumers by allowing them to have only one universal wireless adaptor (perhaps with a plug-in option, too) instead of different adaptors for their gadgets. Although, the market and the consumer always have a final say, I believe the project is a go.
Wireless Efficiency report, Wireless Power Industry Forecast 2014 – 2020, http://www.wirelessefficiency.com/?p=2671
6W Research, Wireless Charging Market (2013-2018), http://www.6wresearch.com/market-reports/global-wireless-charging.html
Environmental Leader Group report, Wireless Charging Market Grows, http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/02/27/wireless-charging-market-grows/ February 27, 2014
DataWeek Report, 2011 heralds wireless charging market surge, http://www.dataweek.co.za/article.aspx?pklarticleid=6843, 22 June 2011.
MarketsandMarkets Industry report, Wireless Charging Market by Technology, Range, Component (Transmitters and Receivers for Various Devices), Application (Consumer Electronics, Defense, Healthcare, Automotive, and Industrial), and Geography – Analysis and Forecast to 2013 – 2020, http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/wireless-charging-market-640.html, November 2014.
SEITZ PATRICK Wireless charging surge forecast over next 5 years, http://news.investors.com/technology-click/032114-694204-wireless-charging-for-phones-tablets-predicted-to-soar.htm#ixzz3RuoFGtAP 03/21/2014
Image of EV wireless charging, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/toyota-tests-wireless-charging-for-electric-cars-2014-02-18
ElecricCarNews report, Market for Wireless Power Systems Will Triple Over the Next 8 Years, http://electriccarsreport.com/2012/07/market-for-wireless-power-systems-will-triple-over-the-next-8-years/, JULY 3, 2012.
Image 3. Wireless charging by region.