The Nexus Wireless Charger is now available for order in the Google Play store for $49.99 and will ship by Nov. 29. The 2.4-inch black square, as sleek and shiny as a pair of new patent-leather party shoes, offers wireless charging to the Google Nexus 5, Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 tablet.
The charging pad, which is for use in the United States and Canada only, is plugged in with a micro USB cable. The Nexus device, then, is just set down on top, at a user’s leisure. Letting devices charge up in “sips” this way is thought to be one answer to the issue of needing devices to do more but still last all day.
“No more messing with wires, cords and plugs—your tablet just snaps into place on the magnetic face and begins charging,” says the description on Google Play. “The Nexus Wireless Charger adheres securely to any surface—like your desk, counter top or nightstand—so the convenience of grab-and-go charging is always within easy reach.”
Google introduced the LG-made Nexus 5 Oct. 31, calling it the slimmest and fastest Nexus phone ever made. It has a 5-inch full-HD display, 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiFi connectivity, a camera lens with image-stabilization technology, a new HDR+ mode that takes photos in quick bursts and the KitKat (Android 4.4) operating system.
Unlocked, the phone is priced at $349, Google said in its statement, adding that it would be at Sprint, T-Mobile, Best Buy, Amazon and Radio Shack by the holidays.
Wireless Charging Forecast
Nokia was among the first to offer wireless charging when it introduced the Lumia 920 in September 2012 and a line of Fatboy wireless charging pillows and accessories integrated with Qi (pronounced chee) wireless-charging technology.
In addition to convenience, another perk of the technology is that it doesn’t continue to draw power from the outlet when it’s not as use, as traditional chargers do.
The Wireless Power Consortium has said that Qi is the wireless standard that world has selected, and that consumers can expect to see in numerous devices going forward.
The BlackBerry Z30, which Verizon Wireless began selling Nov. 14, also includes Qi.
6Wresearch expects the wireless charging market to reach $9.9 billion by 2018 and grow at a compound annual rate of 43 percent between now and then. The technology has automotive, military, medical device, industrial, consumer electronics and other applications, according to the research firm.