Wireless charging is becoming increasingly prominent in smartphones with companies such as Nokia, HTC, LG all opting to include the feature in their flagship products. What was once a superfluous feature is now becoming more and more mainstream yet neither of the leaders in the smartphone market; Apple and Samsung, have included wireless charging in their devices. According to a report from Digitimes though this will change this year with both Apple and Samsung planning to include it in their flagship devices of 2013.
Samsung like most manufacturers will be using the QI wireless charging standard that is overseen by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and is expected to be included in the Galaxy S IV. The benefit of using the QI standard means that virtually any wireless charger you pick up will work with your device including accessories such as the Nexus 4 Charging Orb which is arguably one of the best looking chargers in the world. Accessories that use a global standard also tend to be cheaper than ones that use proprietary standards because 3rd parties don't need to pay licensing fees to the firm that owns the rights to the standard. Samsung's implementation of wireless charging though will be different from other manufacturers; whereas most manufacturers use an integrated wireless charging coil due to their use of non-removable battery designs, the Samsung Galaxy S IV won't feature the wireless charging by default, instead consumers will have to buy a separate official battery cover that includes the induction coil required for wireless charging. That means people who don't want to use wireless charging don't need to pay for it.
Apple also plans to integrate wireless charging in the new iPhone, but unlike Samsung they will be using their own standard instead of the QI standard. That means the Apple will be able to sell licenses to companies that will produce wireless chargers for their phones similar to what they currently do with lightning connectors. That also means you can't use the wide range of QI chargers currently on the market while also paying higher prices for the ones that will work with your device.
The move to wireless charging seems to be inevitable with all the major manufacturers adopting the platform. Hopefully with Samsung, the world's leading smartphone manufacturer, adopting the QI wireless charging will lead to the implementation of wireless charging in public places. Imagine in the future if all cafe and restaurant tables had a wireless charging point allowing you to charge your phone while in public helping to address the issue of poor battery life in smartphones.