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.