The Power Matters Alliance (PMA) just scored another major boost. AT&T has announced that it will integrate wireless charging within select smartphones by 2014. Those TBA handsets may be manufactured by BlackBerry, ZTE, or any of the organization's latest members: HTC, Huawei, LG and Samsung. Notably absent is Apple, so don't expect PMA-compatible devices to make their way out of Cupertino anytime soon, but with chipset makers like Broadcom and Texas Instruments on board, we could very well be seeing quite a few handsets pop up by early next year. Integration may be implemented directly within the chipset, or it could be delivered through an add-on device, such as the Wireless Charging Card (WiCC) in the image above.
A PMA membership doesn't necessarily represent a commitment from manufacturers to release products that support the technology -- joining the alliance requires just "a few thousand dollars" in dues, but Duracell Powermat President Daniel Schreiber seems confident that all of the smartphone makers now on board will have releases of their own in the near future. The next step, of course, would be a widespread rollout of PMA-compatible charging stations, such as those manufactured by Powermat and installed in Boston Starbucks stores and Madison Square Garden in NYC. PowerKiss, which has begun similar trials in Europe, also joined the PMA recently, and may have compatible devices in place in several McDonald's restaurants and train stations throughout the continent by the second half of this year.
HTC, LG, and Samsung Join Power Matters Alliance; AT&T To Embed PMA into Smartphones by 2014
Austin, Texas and Dallas, Texas (April 18, 2013) – Five months after AT&T, Google and Starbucks announced their support for the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), the momentum behind the PMA continues in full force. HTC, LG and Samsung, global leaders in consumer electronics, have joined the PMA, marking a tenfold increase in membership in the past five months. These latest additions to the PMA roll call are indicative of the quality as well as the quantity of The PMA membership surge.
PMA is today the standard of choice for wireless charging in public places in The US. Over 1,500 charging spots have been deployed across a growing number of Starbucks coffee shops, airports and at iconic places like Madison Square Garden and The Garden State Plaza Mall. It was recently announced that Powerkiss, a European leader in wireless charging, is dropping the Qi standard in favor of PMA installations at their over 1,000 locations across European airports and train stations – soon to include McDonald's restaurants in Europe too.
In recent months PMA has also enjoyed broad support on the device-side, with Blackberry, NEC, Texas Instruments, IDT, NXP, ZTE, Kyocera and accessory makers Incipio, Sketch and Otterbox all joining its ranks. This trend is expected to continue and intensify, following AT&T's announcement that they plan to have PMA-wireless charging integrated into their smartphone portfolio by 2014:
"We want to welcome HTC, LG and Samsung to the PMA," said Jeff Howard, Vice President, Mobile Devices and Accessories at AT&T, and a PMA Board member. "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."