Apple has recently officially joined Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) that is the developer of Qi wireless charging solution. Apple has long been rumored to launch an iPhone with wireless charging capabilities, but so far those rumors have turned out to be bust Yet again, after the realization of Apple joining the consortium, rumors began to float that iPhone 8 could have wireless charging.
Wireless charging landscape has long been mainly supported by Samsung with its S-series devices. Wireless charging has been an integral part of S-series after it launched the S6 family with not only one but two of the main wireless charging solutions (Qi and PMA, region dependent). Other notable supporters over past years have been LG with G-series and Nokia that used to include wireless charging to its premium tier devices such as Lumia 920, 930 and 950. However, bulk of the volumes has come from Samsung.
Wireless charging is also the main charging method of many smartwatches including Apple Watch. Apple actually has already implemented Qi wireless charging to Apple Watch but as it has never submitted the watch for interoperability testing thus it is not officially a Qi device.
There is no denying wireless charging is a very convenient way to charge when done right. The current situation where Samsung is leading the way has brought the technology forward significantly, but it would definitely benefit from Apple joining the game fully.
Strategy Analytics is naturally following the adoption of the technology and our Emerging Device Strategies (EDS) service has wireless charging as one of the 60+ technologies we track and forecast. Without Apple the penetration of wireless charging will remain in low double digit share but Apple's adoption of wireless charging to iPhones could accelerate the development also among other vendors beyond Samsung and LG.
All in all, this may just be Apple finally opening up its Qi solution to 3rd party developers by submitting it to official interoperability testing or there is something better cooking at Cupertino. We will definitely keep You posted.