By Petri Vuori
Since the early days of mobile telephony products, industrial designers have had an objective to design products with seamless surfaces, hoping to avoid connectors altogether. For product reliability engineers and production yield optimization, connectors have been a significant headache over generations of products. Connectors have been the top category of mobile phone failure mechanisms for ages.
Being among the top failure mechanisms means that significant user dissatisfaction has been caused by the connectors. Meanwhile, the industry has learned how to produce sealed charging and data connectors to complete the waterproof designs that consumers are looking after. Making a call in the rain is no longer a risk for your phone. Another top-level product failure mechanism – water damage – has been removed this way.
Even though connectors have been getting better, the future does look connectorless.
Short range audio and data is increasingly wireless, external antenna connectors are replaced by RF couplers, even product firmware can be updated wirelessly.
Looking across user populations, a smaller and smaller number of people are connecting their phones with cables to other data equipment. Audio jacks no longer exist in many of the most popular models as wireless headsets have become highly affordable and available. So, the main reason must be charging.
Qi has been available for more than a decade now. Qi Certified chargers are available in a wide range of price points and product designs to support a wide range of user requirements. With the next steps in Qi evolution, users will see more consistent performance and smoother user experience. These improvements will enable smartphone manufacturers to rely on Qi as the best way to energize their products and the time of the last connector in the smartphone surface will be over.
By joining the WPC you will become a key player in shaping and advancing wireless power standards. WPC members gain invaluable insights to compete more successfully and lead the charge in introducing cutting-edge wireless power transfer products to the market.
To be certain that a product has been tested to Qi certification standards, search for it in our database.