Dan Bladen, CEO and co-founder of Chargifi, discusses Apple’s move towards a wireless world.
Each of us all share a common fear: running out of charge. We start our day needing a fully charged device, we snack on power throughout the day, and we end the day by putting our device back on charge. Mobile phones have become one of our favourite companions; from waking us up in the morning to putting us to sleep at night, we trust them to get us through the day. But, this digital dependency has created a challenge; thousands of daily interactions with our devices and multiple apps running simultaneously is draining power from phones, fast, and two-thirds of mobile users run out of battery before 5pm.
Nevermore has convenient access to power been in greater demand as a result of the ‘always on’ lifestyle, and as technology weaves its way into almost every aspect of daily life, consumer demands are shifting to prioritise power over anything else. In fact, according to the latest survey by the Wireless Power Consortium, ‘battery anxiety’ remains high and increased year-on-year, 73% of consumers experience some kind of battery anxiety.
In September, at its keynote in Cupertino, Apple announced that each and every one of its devices from the iPhone 8 upwards is now shipped with wireless charging. This now puts the number of wireless charging devices at around 1 billion, with the number expected to rise even higher to around 1.7 billion at the beginning of 2020.
With such high demand and consumer expectations of mobile phones and connectivity, it is little wonder that models are constantly evolving and improving with the intention of making lives more seamless – it’s the only way to stay competitive.
Commitment to a wireless world
With one of the world’s leading smart tech manufacturers recognising that power is the foundation to connectivity, others predictably followed suit to meet industry demand and customer expectations. Within a week of Apple’s 2019 announcement, Huawei unveiled fast wireless supercharging and improved reverse wireless charging to its Mate30 series allowing users to charge at three-times the speed offered by previous Huawei phones – a distinct commitment to wireless technology.
What happened with Wi-Fi delivery is now happening with power; Apple devices with wireless charging capabilities, with a UK market share of nearly 50% are completely rewriting the consumer expectation for power. By signifying its industry-wide commitment to a wireless world, Apple has redefined consumer expectations on powering-up. Soon enough, your customers and employees are going to walk in with a myriad of devices that needed to be charged wirelessly. Wireless charging is becoming table stakes and businesses must wake up to the fact that it is here.
We live in an experience-led society – one where we strive to belong, achieve and pursue ultimate fulfillment – largely enabled and driven by technology and connectivity. As power is the foundation of technology, it will enable businesses to deliver a fully integrated customer experience and influence the customer journey.
The opportunities for businesses
Over the past ten-years, most businesses have focused on addressing their digital transformation to meet the rising needs of today’s connected consumer. Whilst this has been essential, it does mean, however, that many have neglected the growing consumer expectation of delivering a fully integrated customer experience.
Here lies an opportunity for food and beverage establishments in particular; delivering an exceptional experience by driving in-store innovation will make the customer experience easier, faster and more integrated with the growing online ordering and delivery experience. This new norm is a monumental shift that provides companies with an opportunity to monetise on power – something that consumers really need. The deployment of a cloud-managed, smart wireless charging service can increase customer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty, enhancing service and driving revenue. Mass deployment of smart wireless charging is able to access and act on insight that Wi-Fi alone, cannot.
Power as a service
Since the launch of the iPhone 8 two years ago, Chargifi’s pipeline has grown 800 percent, as we see hoteliers, retail businesses and workplaces rapidly integrating smart wireless charging into their spaces as a response to the growing customer experience. One global hotel brand has seen a 64 percent increase in revenue following installation of smart, wireless charging due to increased footfall and convenience that has created a competitive differentiator.
As Apple continues to deliver on innovation and creativity in all devices – smartwatches that never sleeps, double and triple iPhone camera lenses, and chips that elevate machine learning to name just a few of the newest features – the consumer need for convenient access to power where ever they go is at an all-time high. Although Apple has extended battery life in its new models, it’s still not enough to keep a smartphone powered all day with heavy use. People will have an even bigger demand for fast, reliable power whilst on-the-go and wireless charging is the most convenient method for this to be delivered, particularly by those looking to impact and improve customer service.