2020 Opportunities: Wireless Chargers For Smartphones and Wireless Charger Components?

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  • Shipments of wireless-charging-enabled smartphones in the $401-to-$600 price range grew by 365 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019
  • Huawei unveiled its first wireless charging phone in the fourth quarter of 2018

Shipments of wireless-charging-enabled smartphones in the $401-to-$600 price range grew by 365 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019. These shipments, as per a Omdia report, were driven by price cuts in Apple’s iPhone XR price.

“The increase in wireless charging-enabled shipments in the $401-to-$600 price segment was triggered by Apple’s price reduction on the iPhone XR, which features wireless-charging capability. After a $150 price cut in the fourth quarter, the iPhone XR dropped into the less-than-$600 price category. A total of 12 million wireless devices in this price tier are Apple devices, with 7.7 million iPhone XRs,” said Anna Ahrens, senior analyst, smartphone and mobile, Omdia.

Wireless chargers facts from 2019

From premium to mid/high-end priced smartphones

Prior to the fourth quarter, more than 90 per cent of phones with wireless charging capabilities were premium and high-end devices. Apple’s and Samsung’s flagship phones accounted for the majority of the share.

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However, in the fourth quarter of 2019, the portion of phones with wireless charging priced below $600 reached 18.8 per cent at 16 million units. The same figures stood at four million in the fourth quarter of 2018 and six million in the third quarter of 2019. In turn, the penetration rate for wireless charging-enabled smartphones within the $401-to-$600 price segment reached 58.7 per cent, at 16 million units.

It is believed that a lot of smartphone brands usually follow Apple and Samsung when it comes to innovation. The increased adoption of wireless charging capabilities might be good news for smartphone and wireless charging component manufacturers and OEMs as more brands might look forward to launching smartphones with the feature in 2020.

Not a priority for smartphones below $600

Wireless charging, as per the Omdia report, has not been a top priority for OEMs with phones priced at less than $600. OPPO, Vivo, as well as Samsung, for their mid-range phones, prefer camera innovations, battery performance, fast charging option or connectivity upgrades over wireless charging.

“Low charging efficiency, the additional cost for the wireless charger on the consumers’ side and the low valuation of wireless charging feature among Chinese consumers, hinder the wider adoption of wireless charging feature within those price tier. Therefore, it is unlikely that Apple entering this segment will change OEMs’ strategy and adoption of wireless charging,” read the report.

It continued, “In 2019, the overall share of smartphones with wireless charging grew 2.7 per cent compared to 2018, reaching 18.5 per cent. While this development is still positive, adoption growth slowed compared to the 5.6 per cent annual growth from 2017 to 2018. This slowdown is attributed to a decline in wireless charging-enabled units in Samsung’s portfolio.”

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