back to article Powermat iPhone 4 wireless charging kit

Powermat, the best-known purveyor of wireless charging systems, missed a chance by not getting its iPhone 4 inductive charging pack out sooner than it has. Antennagate highlighted the benefits of wrapping the newest iPhone in a case, and Powermate might have sold a fair few units on the back of it. Powermat iPhone 4 kit …


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  1. Karnka

    Where are the batteries

    At the start of the year they trailed batteries with the charging coil built right into them. There would be no need for cases and everyone would be happy (obviously not apple folk mind).

    Where are they!

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Where are the batteries

      Coming soon to the Nokia N97.

      1. Karnka

        title etc

        Ah, I had missed that article, looks like a start.

        I do however recall seeing batteries / covers for Android phones. Perhaps they'll be along soon.

      2. Wize

        Shame the N97 has so many flaws.

        Trouble with this upgrade is move to a newer model and you are back to cables till they release a wireless charger for the new phone.

        Until manufacturers put them in as standard.

  2. Lottie

    I can imagine

    in a household with many iPhones, people would get pissed off waiting for the mat.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    A really expensive way of charging batteries

    It still needs to be plugged into the wall, why is it worth spending £50 on a thingymabobber that is no quicker or easier than plugging a charger in?

    It's not only Mr Jobs who pumps the fanbois for their hard earned cash

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: A really expensive way of charging batteries

      It's not just for Apple types.

      Nick happened to take a look at the iPhone 4 pack, but Powermat supports BlackBerry handsets, Nokias, Samsungs, etc, plus handheld games consoles and a host of other gadgets.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Re: A really expensive way of charging batteries

        In fairness to Harry the snot gobbler, he didn't say specifically Apple types, he said fanbouy, and I would say that anyone who spends £50 on a mat instead of a charging cable, that also stops you using the device in your car, or using the video out on your telly, is indeed a fanbouy with more money than sense.

        The only time inductive charging makes sense is in an environment where you don't want bare connectors, for example on electric toothbrushes; but then your iPod would fail the moisure markers test and be out of warrantee.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Still Pointless...

        ...the whole beauty of the Powermat is you can stick any device on it and it will charge. 1 Power, 1 mat a dozen devices. But this you now have 1 charger, one "mat", one phone; replacing err one charger and one phone (phone makers are supposed to be using Mirco USB's now).

    2. Lottie


      I guess the USP is the whole avoidence of the "having to trace the wire from the outlet, fidle around to get it out of the tangle it's inexplicably gotten into by magically coiling around every other cable near it, then fiddling with the connector cover, failing 3 times as you have no fingernail length, finally getting it open and plugging the cable in" scenario.

      1. Annihilator
        Thumb Down


        Really? That happens a lot to you does it? There is a much simpler and cheaper solution then - namely "get a charging cradle" that have been available for just about every phone since the early Nokia series. I've still got a 3310 cradle somewhere.

        Not only a USP, but a Unique Problem too I'd wager..

        1. bygjohn
          Thumb Down


          Apple sell the iPhone 4 dock: half the price of this gizmo, plug the charger that came with the phone into the back of it, and just slot your phone into it to charge whenever required. Also acts as a nice stand if you want to use it as a bedside clock, has vents so you can use the phone hands free, and an audio out to connect it to speakers should you so wish. Much more use than this thing, which looks like a solution looking for a problem to me.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Wireless within the limits of the dock.... wow what freedom!

    If it was a "place anywhere on the desk" solution, I'd give it a thumbs up

    ...but this is essentially a dock, with all the limitations of a regular dock!!

    The only benefit (wireless "freedom" notwithstanding) is that it doesn't wear the power connection socket out...isn't even an issue given the upgrade cycles on these products. Oh, and you can put it in upside-down!

    A USB charger is £4 off ebay, only draws current when something is plugged into it, and *doesn't* block off the headphone socket. I trust you to analysis products based on their utility, rather than with the wide eyed enthusiasm of a tv presenter who awards points to "gadge" based on the presence of blue LEDs...

  5. John Armstrong-Millar

    total fail

    It's such a shame that this tech has never been incorporated into any mainstream devices.

  6. Nipsirc

    Erm, wasn't the point of the PowerMat (tm)(c)(pto)... be a y'know, mat, that you could, like, just put things on and they'd charge? The idea being that rather than having to carefully plug in a single unit to a single dock and have loads of wallwarts, you'd have one mat, and just throw many things on it without fiddling about. So they've magically come up with a single use item (you could almost call it a dock) which requires careful placement. And they charge 50 squiddlies? Has someone has lost the plot, or am I missing something?

  7. stucs201

    but what about those of us who dock our phones into speaker units

    Er, how about forget about this device altogether and just plonk your phone into the dock to charge?

  8. Mage Silver badge

    It's not Wireless

    It's a connectionless connector!

    The pad still needs a cord. It's as wireless as my cordless kettle. The fact is a 30 year old "holster" as used on Mobile hand-held radios works better and cheaper than these "mats".

  9. Anonymous Coward

    This has been tried before...

    ...and failed to make much impression. See here:

    From what I know of the failure of Splashpower, a lot of it was to do with the heat generated by the charging module in the battery and the limited thermal margins in mobile phones and similar devices. You have to rectify the AC charging waveform, the diodes to do it got hot. This is from the horse's mouth, the result was that no one like Nokia etc wanted to proceed with the idea even though they could see its attractions.

  10. Matt Piechota
    Thumb Down


    Hmm, any boffins out there care to see how much emag radition this thing is spewing about? Or how much power the induction connection wastes?

    Seems like plugging a cord in is a lot easier. And for multiple devices, just get a USB hub and cables. I have a 7-port charging station on my desk. Woo! :)

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Won't someone PLEASE think about the children???

      Mothers Against Power Poles has been on a tirade against electrical poles as the wires supposedly irradiate their wee ones with wicked, nasty, bad EM radiation. Cannot believe this little gadget escaped their notice. However, I guess they are out for long hours protesting against the local electrical concern and need the mat to drop their low battery phones on so they can get to their Facebook site while stomping the picket line.

      I wonder how many MAPP Moms need to microwave their meals at the end of the day to feed the kiddies.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other uses

    We use one of thees chargers for my little brother's wii. It was easier to spend $30 than to have our mom take the rubber casing off and risk breaking the battery cover to throw away batteries. It also saves me the hassle of dealing with fixing one more broken thing.

    I'd be more impressed if they would stream music by blue tooth similar to how I use my cell with my car stereo. Then, there would be no need for the proprietary connector aside from charging.

  12. Anomalous Cowturd

    Or do what I do,

    and use a phone that doesn't need charging every fscking day!

    N6310i lives on.

  13. Nick Ryan Silver badge


    Excellent! We're beginning to start epic energy shortages and the snake oil salemen are producing new kit to waste even more energy than before. 4.5 to 6 is only wastes a full 1/3 more power for no benefit whatsoever.

    As a previous poster has already noted, these kind of induction chargers are good when you want no exposed conductors, but bad otherwise.

  14. Ben Brandwood


    Looks pretty much like my Palm Touchstone for my Pre!

  15. David Lucke

    Not so useful in the era of device convergence

    The full-size powermat (not this pointless 1 device rest) would have been very tempting a few years ago. Back then, I carried a PDA, mp3 player and phone, and this would have significantly simplified the task of keeping them all charged (assuming they could all have used it). But these days, I have an iPhone that does all of those jobs, and with just 1 cable to keep track of, there's very little incentive to use a powermat.

  16. D@v3
    Thumb Down

    another solution

    i spent 10 mins with things i had laying around the flat (empty Altoids tin, gaffer tape, spare apple dock cable, and the "dock adapter" i got with my iPod classic, leatherman) and made my own dock / charger.

    works with the free case that Apple kindly sent me, cost me nothing that i hadn't already spent in the past.

    And much the same as this power mat, it still has a cable running to the wall (although because its a usb cable, can also be plugged in to the PC) and can also only charge one item at a time (except mine also does iPods)

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