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Wireless charging coup: HTC, LG and Samsung join Power Matters Alliance

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Gallery Photo: Qi wireless charging at Mobile World Congress 2012
Gallery Photo: Qi wireless charging at Mobile World Congress 2012

Wireless charging standard Qi looked formidable. High profile phones like the Nokia Lumia 920, the HTC Droid DNA, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the LG-built Google Nexus 4 all included the tech. Public charging stations were rolling out, including many in Japan. And yet now, it's looking like a rival wireless charging standard has even more momentum. HTC, LG, and Samsung all used Qi, but starting today they're members of the Power Matters Alliance as well, joining Google, AT&T, and Starbucks, which all signed on in 2012. BlackBerry's also on board as of this year, and a company called PowerKiss recently spurned Qi for PMA in its quest to bring wireless charging stations to McDonalds' restaurants in Europe.

Samsung supports all three

Today's announcement doesn't necessarily mean any of HTC, LG, or Samsung are necessarily done with Qi, though. Samsung actually supports three different wireless charging standards at present, including Qi, PMA, and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) which it co-founded with Powermat and Qualcomm. CNET reports that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4 can be configured with either Qi or PMA, depending on which wireless charging cover you buy. It's still not clear which of these technologies will truly take off, and companies like Samsung may continue to hedge their bets. But if Qi can't fix its compatibility hiccups and PMA's momentum continues, a victor could emerge.