A new agreement between The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) announced this week drops the number of competing wireless charging standards from three to two, leaving the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and its Qi standard to fend for itself.
The deal doesn’t mean a total merger for the A4WP and PMA under a single brand. Instead, the two companies are agreeing to work together and adopt one another’s technology, allowing the two standards to work side-by-side. PMA leads in inductive charging technology used by retailers like Starbucks to offer wireless charging and direct customers to charging stations. Meanwhile, A4WP’s resonant wireless charging allows a single pad to charge multiple devices at once.
The announcement should mean more devices with built-in wireless charging released in the near future, while in the past competing standards supported by various manufacturers and carriers kept the technology from shipping with most smartphones and tablets. The A4WP and PMA will still have to compete with the Qi standard however, which was an early front runner after gaining support from the likes of Samsung and Nokia. Meanwhile, Samsung, Qualcomm and other major players also support A4WP, so Qi now faces an uphill battle.