IKEA and IDT light up the market for wireless charging furniture

By David Green, Research Manager, Power Supplies & Wireless Power at IHS

The release of the IKEA/IDT products is a kick-start to the wireless charging furniture market, and will contribute to the IHS forecast that almost 10 million pieces of wireless charging furniture will be sold globally by 2017.  This doesn’t include the additional potential for ‘styled’ stand-alone transmitters such as charging bowls, or the stand-alone transmitters in the form of DIY kits for retrofit into existing furniture.

IHS predicts global revenue for wireless charging receivers and transmitters will reach $1.7bn in 2015 (more than triple the revenue in 2014), with more than 120 million wireless charging receivers shipping into the mobile phone handset market during the year.  However, the number of consumers that actually use the technology will be much lower than that, since many will have the receiver embedded in their phone and may not even be aware of the functionality.  Some mobile phone network operators, such as Vodafone in the UK, are bundling wireless chargers as part of the contract with some call plans for the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, but the ratio of transmitters in operation to receivers will start low and gradually increase over the next few years.

 Whilst stand-alone transmitters will continue to account for the largest proportion of the market, sales of wireless charging furniture will help to increase the number of transmitters in operation, raising the proportion of end-users who are using and interacting with the technology.  Interestingly, the Qi-standard stand-alone charger from IKEA also retails at a lower price (£30 for single coil) than the official Samsung wireless charger for the Galaxy S6 (£35).  The cost of wireless charging enabled furniture from IKEA also costs only marginally more than comparable, non-enabled products – although with a much smaller range of products.

 Wireless charging furniture, including the latest IKEA range, will never become the dominant part of the transmitter market overall.  However, the benefits of large, consumer-focused brands adopting wireless charging technology can only help to drive the industry forwards and towards mass-market appeal.

Background

IDT has been announced as the provider of the wireless charging transmitters integrated in IKEA’s new range of wireless charging furniture.  Pricing has also now been released for IKEA’s wireless charging furniture products, including a range of phone cases, lamps, bedside tables and stand-alone chargers that will be available across a select range of countries in Europe and North America, including the US, UK and Germany.

 The new range of IKEA wireless charging furniture was first announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 1st March The full range of products (and released pricing) from IKEA includes:

 2 styles of desk lamp (£50, €60, $70).

Large floor lamp with charging shelf (£85, €100, $109).
Small bedside table (£50, $60).
Large bedside table (£85, €100, $120).
Standalone chargers (£30+) in both single and triple coil versions.
Standalone charger kit for DIY fit (no released price).
Range of charging covers (£20+, $25+) covering Samsung S3, S4 and S5 models, and iPhone i4/4S, i5/5S and i6 models.

These new products are now being advertised on IKEA websites, but products are not expected to start shipping or appearing in-store until later in April.

Read more insights on wireless charging from IHS by clicking here.