Starbucks providing nationwide wireless charging for phones

By Phi Tran Comment


Starbucks announced that the company will eventually install Powermat wireless charging mats in all of its coffee and tea houses. Starbucks will begin the roll-out with San Francisco locations, including Teavana locations. Boston Starbucks customers have already been exposed to the products’ initial trial.

“From WiFi and the in-store Starbucks Digital Network to mobile payment and digital music downloads, we have always tried to anticipate our customers’ needs early in the adoption curve and provide a world-class solution. We are thrilled to offer our customers that next level of convenience with Powermat wireless charging. Rather than hunting around for an available power outlet, they can seamlessly charge their device while enjoying their favorite food or beverage offering right in our stores,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks. “We were pleased with the customer response to the pilot tests, and we’re now expanding this offering nationally to provide our customers a quality and reliable experience as they use our stores as their respite, their office away from home or as a gathering place with their friends and family.”

Each store will get an estimated 10 charging mats, but it’s uncertain how many users will actually be using the new tech. Powermats are Duracell products that are not typically compatible with smartphone devices. Users must purchase additional hardware in order to take advantage of the free power.

Starbucks’ overwhelming support of the products came last year when it joined Duracell’s Power Matters Alliance, a consortium of corporations seeking wireless charging standards. Conversely, its competitor, Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) supports Qi, which is the charging standard for many Android devices including the LG G3 and the Nexus 5. Further, WPC’s membership includes Microsoft, Panasonic, Nokia, Sony, Hitcachi, Verizon, and even Ikea.

Clearly, there is no standard, but if you like to spend your hours sipping lattes at Starbucks, you can pick up a Powermat adapter or an iPhone case such as the one carried by Apple stores.