What came before WiFi
Who remembers the proprietary home network products that came before WiFi?
Who remembers the proprietary wireless mobile phone headsets that were sold before Bluetooth became ubiquitous?
A proprietary platform has a single provider that solely controls its technology, for example, Microsoft Windows, or Google search. Proprietary platforms can be hugely successful, but fail dramatically in typical consumer electronics products.
Before WiFi you could buy a proprietary base station with matching dongles. If you installed this at home it worked fine, but you could not rely on using your computer anywhere else. WiFi changed that. With WiFi you have network access everywhere, and overnight the proprietary products disappeared from the market.
WiFi was a blessing for notebook manufacturers. It did not make sense for them to integrate proprietary network technology. The WiFi standard made integration commercially attractive, and that made WiFi even more popular.
The California Management Review has an excellent paper by Prof. Thomas Eisenmann on the benefits of creating a so-called “shared platform” (California Management Review Vol. 50, No 4, Summer 2008). With a shared platform, such as Visa, DVD, or Linux, multiple firms collaborate in developing the platform's technology then compete in offering users differentiated but compatible versions of the platform. The article examines factors that favor proprietary versus shared models.
Qi is the shared platform for wireless battery charging. More than 100 companies support Qi. Just like WiFi is a shared platform managed by the many members of the WiFi Alliance.