Today Nokia announced the Lumia 920, the flagship Windows Phone 8 device, with wireless.
Wireless charging isn’t new. We’ve seen wireless charging backs for some Android devices and cases like the PowerMat iPhone case. We’ve even seen a push for built-in wireless charging from HP and Palm, but that didn’t end well.
This push for built-in wireless charging brings backing from Nokia and Microsoft, and thanks to the Qi wireless charging standard, an aftermarket accessory market can thrive.
The Lumia 920 is no iPhone 5. It’s not likely to sell 10 million units in the first week, and it arguably doesn’t offer the same draw to manufacturers as an iPhone 5 with wireless charging, but it’s a start.
Wireless charging isn’t going to be the feature to sell a phone, but it’s one of my most desired features. Until battery technology can catch up to the way I use my phone I definitely want to be able to set my phone down on a desk, on my dash and on my nightstand to charge, without worrying about cables.
I know I’m not alone in my quest for wireless charging and my need to charge my phones multiple times a day.
For Nokia to be the leader here, we’ll need to see wireless charging arrive in more locations and in ways users can appreciate. Right now the Virgin Atlantic deal is only at the Heathrow Airport clubhouse. If Nokia is able to put wireless chargers in planes, and partner with a restaurant like McDonald’s and bars we could see wireless charging switch to a standard feature as users see the benefits in front of them.
Nokia is going all out with several wireless charging accessories for the Lumia 920 release. My favorite is the JBL PowerUp with Wireless charging, a Lumia 920 speaker system that plays music wirelessly and can charge the Lumia 920 when it sits on top of it. I know any speaker company looking to make iPhone 5 docks would love to offer this functionality so they won’t be stung with any future iPhone dock connector changes.
There are also a number of wireless charging plates including a wireless charging pillow from FatBoy that cushions the Lumia 920 while it charges.
If this does kick off the wireless charging trend it’s great to see the use of the Qi wireless charging standard. Assuming Apple, Samsung and Motorola could come together to announce wireless charging options with the same technology users would benefit in the same way we’ve seen Micro USB simplify charging devices and accessories.