Why is wireless charging progressing so slowly?

Nexus Wireless ChargerAs you may know Stella and I both carry  Nexus 4 cell phones. Under the Christmas tree there happened to be a Nexus 7 tablet to add to her gadget mix.

Since the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 are both capable of wireless charging I also bought her one of the Qi-compliant wireless chargers. Stella has a well-documented disdain for wires, so the wireless charger holds considerable appeal.

The Qi standard was created by Wireless Power Consortium in 2009. It’s simply mind-boggling how stupidly rare and costly wireless chargers remain, even though the technology should be by now well-established.

Google’s own Nexus wireless charger, a single position model, costs a whopping $50!

Looking on Amazon I find that there are a number of Qi wireless chargers offered. Single device chargers run $20 – 50, with many in the $30+ range.

Two position Qi wireless chargers, the most practical solution for someone with multiple devices, run from $50 to over $100!

Those are the prices online. Can you imagine what the carriers might be charging for them in stores?  They’re accustomed to rooking users for the convenience of immediate access.

In our case, I purchased a single-position charger from a daily deals web site for $25 even before I’d looked into them in much depth. That seemed a better value than the Google offering for twice the price.

I find myself wondering  why it is that wireless charging is progressing so slowly? Is it the limited selection of devices? Or stupidly high prices?

I see that there are Qi-compliant power receivers that can be added to cell phones that don’t have such capability built-in. That allows the feature to be added to the more costly smart phones, like the iPhone 4 and Galaxy S3. Since those phones will remain in users hands a while yet, the aftermarket accessories hold some potential value.

In related news, I’ll admit that I’m not especially happy that the Nexus 7 (2013) doesn’t work with the desktop stand for the earlier model. The new tablet doesn’t have the same four contacts on the lower-left portion of the frame.

That original stand originally cost $40, which is a considerable sum given the very simple nature of the device.

KiDigi-Nexus-7-charging-dockI see that there’s a KiDiGi Wireless Charging Dock for Google Nexus 7 (2013) for $64. That price makes the new charging stand about one-third the cost of the tablet itself, which doesn’t seem entirely appropriate.

I’m just not clear that I can bring myself to pay the sums involved in these conveniences. Perhaps that’s why wireless charging languishes on the side-lines, a promise yet to be broadly fulfilled.