Qi Rival Gains Strength with Handset Maker Support
The Power Matters Alliance, a group pitching a wireless charging standard that competes with the Qi and the Alliance for Wireless Power standards, has recently won new support from handset makers and carriers. The group announced this week that HTC, Huawei, LG, and Samsung have all joined the PMA, which already includes members such as AT&T, BlackBerry, Google, Kyocera, PowerMat, Starbucks, and ZTE. Further, existing PMA member AT&T is asking its handset partners to integrate PMA-compatible wireless charging technology into their handsets by 2014. According to the PMA, there are already some 1,500 PMA-certified wireless charging stations at Starbucks coffee shops, airports, and other locations around the country. The Power Matters Alliance uses a wireless charging technology that is slightly different from those offered by Qi and A4WP. Each of the three standards allows devices to charge wirelessly when placed on a compatible charging pad. Verizon's handsets have incorporated Qi for years, which already has wide support from other carriers and handset makers. The electronics industry as a whole has yet to settle on one of the standards for all devices moving forward.
Samsung Makes Deepsea Blue Note8 Available to U.S. Consumers
Samsung today said it will sell the Deepsea Blue color variant of the Galaxy Note8 smartphone in the U.S. Since launch, the device has only be available to U.S.
ROK Mobile Offering 3 Months of Unlimited for $99
ROK Mobile has rolled out a new promotional rate plan that includes three months of unlimited service for $99. The offer is available to new customers only.
Powermat Shows Universal Fast Charging Ring
Powermat this week showed off an early version of its forthcoming universal fast wireless charging ring for public Powermat charging stations, at locations such as Starbucks. Current charging rings come in two separate versions: Lightning for iPhones, and micro-USB for all other phones.
Powermat Charging Stations May Soon Require App
Powermat today announced a new "mobile engagement platform" that will allow public charging station providers such as Starbucks to push marketing directly to phones via an app. Companies that choose to deploy the new platform will be able to require users to download and install the app before their phones will charge.