The global annual unit shipment of wireless power receivers and transmitters, across all applications, sectors and product segments, is forecast to grow from 450 million units in 2017 to more than 2.2 billion units in 2023 – rising to 7.5 billion units in 2027.
From 2018 to 2023, more than 6 billion receiver units, and 2.7 billion transmitter units, are forecast to ship. The top three receiver applications in 2017 were smartphones, wearables (e.g., smartwatches), and small home appliances (e.g., electric toothbrushes).
With rising consumer interest in, and adoption of, wireless charging technology, mobile phones are forecast to account for approximately 4.6 billion of the 6 billion receiver devices expected to ship in next five years. However, it is also important to note that Apple’s silence about its AirPower wireless charging system, during the company’s annual keynote event in September 2018, has somewhat dampened excitement levels and slowed the adoption of wireless-charging technology.
As consumer and industry interest in the wireless power market has drifted away from mobile phones, it has moved towards wearables, medical devices, kitchen appliances, electric vehicles (EVs) and other consumer and industrial applications. This market shift is creating opportunities for other wireless charging technology solutions – like high-frequency-based resonant technology, and uncoupled solutions, like radio frequency (RF), infrared (IR), and ultrasound – which are better suited for these types of devices. Low-frequency inductive solutions continued to comprise the largest share in both receiver and transmitter shipments in 2018. The share of devices with power ratings less than 5 Watts (W) within the consumer sector is expected to drop significantly, over the next five years, as devices shift to adopt higher power ratings of 15W to 20W, which support fast charging.
As evidenced by announcements at CES this year, a wider range of applications and product segments will adopt RF- or IR-based uncoupled technology solutions this year.
Following are a few of the main market drivers and current barriers to wireless charging adoption:
- Market drivers: Convenience is considered to be the primary benefit. Others include sealed device design, green (eco-friendly), safety, and increased reliability.
- Market barriers/challenges: Costs are a key barrier, followed by low consumer awareness, poor understanding of wireless charging technology and its benefits among consumers and device makers, health and safety concerns, standards and interoperability.
IHS Markit’s Wireless Power Market Tracker
The IHS Markit Wireless Power Market Tracker covers a wide range of applications, sectors and product segments, including consumer, medical, wearables, robots and drones, industrial and automotive. Dedicated market research and focused interviews with companies across the supply chain shape market forecasts by application, while consumer survey responses provide insights the behaviors and attitudes of end-users.