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Samsung matters more than Apple in deciding wireless charging's future

Lucas Mearian | June 17, 2014
Samsung and Apple are the leading handset manufacturers in the world, but when it comes to which one can drive the mobile market for wireless charging, Samsung looks like the bigger player.

Ryan Sanderson, an associate research director with IHS, agreed that if Apple were to choose one standard or even come out with its own "which is also a real possibility," it would certainly have an impact.

"With the momentum that appears to be building to come out with its own standard or proprietary solution, it's likely it would have to happen in one of its next 2 major generations," Sanderson said.

On the other hand, if Apple were to pick one of the current industry specifications, it would "obviously bode in favor of that standard and could really change the playing field," Sanderson added.

While an iPhone with wireless charging would certainly spur the market, Samsung holds the greatest market share and, therefore, has the greatest influence in the coming wireless charging war, according to Sanderson.

Among the combined global shipments of mobile phones and tablets in 2013, Samsung had 28% of the market, more than double Apple's 13%. By 2018, Samsung's lead is forecast to be even bigger, with Samsung accounting for 31% of shipments, Apple, 14%, Sanderson said.

"So perhaps the bigger question should be, 'What is the impact if Samsung chooses one side or the other?'" Sanderson said.

According to IDC, now that Apple has finally arrived at China Mobile, "it remains to be seen how much Apple will close the gap against Samsung in 2014."

Huawei, which held the No. 3 position in handset shipments, attained the highest year-on-year increase among the leading vendors. Lenovo follows in the No. 4, followed by LG and ZTE.

Officials at Samsung and Apple could not be reached for comment.

 

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