It’s official: The Samsung Galaxy S4 will support Qi wireless charging but only through an optional backplate. When the Samsung Galaxy S4 launched last week, Engadget spiedseveral Qi wireless charging accessories. This of course lead to wide-eyed speculation since Samsung had forgotten to mention this little tidbit during their elaborate dog and pony show. Thankfully Qi just took to the wires to clear the air.
From the press release,
The new Samsung Galaxy S4 uses the Qi wireless charging standard in its optional back battery cover and wireless charging pad accessories, as demonstrated at Samsung Unpacked 2013. The accessories are fully compatible with all Qi chargers and Qi-compatible phones.
No further details were given including release date and price. Still, just that little bit resolves the confusion surrounding the device.
This partnership, Samsung and Qi, comes as a bit of surprise. Samsung has long stood with Qualcomm as founding members of the Alliance for Wireless Power. This system uses over-the-air charging called A4WP. Digitimes first reported this switch last week before the S4′s unveiling. And since the two wireless platforms use different wavelengths, they’re incompatible.
Qi is currently used by products produced by Blackberry, ConvenientPower, Delphi Automotive Systems, Energizer, Haier Group, Hitachi Maxell HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips Electronics, Samsung, Sony, TDK Corporation, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Verizon Wireless. And they’re all compatible. Even the Nexus 4 charging orb could be used to charge an S4 equipped with a Qi backplate.
Now that Samsung’s latest superphone supports Qi, expect to see a wide-range of comptible hardware. Fire up your 3D printers, makers. It’s time to make some accessories.