Starbucks alienates most Android phones by siding with PMA wireless charging



Soon people won’t be the only thing getting charged at Starbucks. The coffee giant is planning to install Powermat wireless charging stations at shops across the US. This is a huge win for the Power Matters Alliance, which is battling the Qi charging standard. Many smartphones have been released with the Qi standard, but the tides could begin to shift.

The Powermats at Starbucks will be embedded in tables indicated with small circles. If your device doesn’t have PMA built-in, which most don’t, you can purchase a small dongle that will plug in to your device and allow charging. During trials at Starbucks people typically used the charging for an average of 15 minutes, which is just enough time to give your battery a nice boost. The rollout will begin at Starbucks locations on the west coast at first, but next year they will reach all of the US.

What do you think about Starbucks going with PMA? Most devices that have wireless charging today support the Qi standard. In order to use PMA charging devices you nee to buy a case. Do you have a Qi wireless charging device? Whose side are you on in this wireless charging battle?

[via verge]


Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. so i have to buy something to plug into my phone so that i can wirelessly charge it? honk

    1. Because Fk Logic

    2. It’s to be expected as with any early adoption technology. It’ll be built into products as time goes by.

    3. That’s the boat I’m in already, but it seems ridiculous to go with a closed standard with (more?) limited adoption.

  2. Why so many questions? O_o


  3. Not going to do it… Not at this juncture…

  4. Quite simply, I don’t need it. Typical usage of my S5 plugs in at night with between 60% and 70%. Long day/night out and I still get back with 30% remaining.

  5. I don’t care who wins. I just want wireless charging to become mainstream. This is good.

  6. Great. Now I can buy a dongle for my phone that already has wireless charging built in!

    Not only is crap like this going to confuse consumers, but the few iPhone users Starbuck’s is clearly targeting here wont ever use a PM dongle like that on their phones.

    Starbuck’s quite literally just flushed a ton of money down the drain.

    1. Starbucks does not make this type of decision or investment without endless studies. They have a reason for this and eventually we’ll see what the reason is.
      In the end a charging station with a dongle is better than no charging station.

      1. The reason is simple. The PMA threw a bunch of money at Starbucks and will put a little box to sell the wireless dongle, much like they do with CDs.

        1. Yes, I bet this is exactly what happened.

    2. More than likely Starbucks didn’t spend any money at all… Duracell did, from their marketing budget.

    3. Or Starbucks has inside info that the iPhone 6 will come with PMA wireless charging.

    4. Unfortunately, Apple still has enormous market influence. Apple says, and the market reacts. Google, nor Samsung, have this ability.

    5. Funny you mentioned, but Starbucks is exactly the place where you find all those iSheep types. Pretentious snobs, “creative” baristas, etc.

  7. Since Starbucks seems to be a fairly successful company and they dont HAVE to install any charging stations, I’m all for it. It’s their money, let them spend it as they wish.

  8. From what I understand Qi is an open standard whereas PMA is owned by Duracell and they probably just had the money to push their standard into Starbucks. Personally I’m all about the open standards but we’ll see where this leads..

  9. Not sure how this is beneficial in the first place, when I’m charging my phone to and from the Starbucks (which I don’t ever go to anyways) in my car.

  10. I’ll start community dongles just out of spite

    1. Starbucks could just have a bucket of them

  11. I mostly stopped going to Starbucks in northern ca in favor of peet’s coffee. Their coffee is better imo, they support google wallet and is the one vendor whose nfc terminal have never failed on me and I’m at a peet’s 3x/week. Peet’s also have fewer pretentious mac air users.

    But this would have been nice pr for Android if the idrones saw yet another thing they can’t do well.

  12. This only serves to reaffirm my opinion of the entire Starbucks iPhone hipster crowd. Out of touch do*che bags.

    1. Who else would pay for over-priced things? lol

  13. Not a fan of Starbucks or Iphones, both are way over rated.

  14. So my guess is that iPhone has committed to PMA giving Duracell a big win. Otherwise, who uses PMA? I love my Tylt Qi charger with my Droid MAXX!

    1. honestly i hope this is the case. just as i hope the rumors of the iphone getting NFC are the case. why? because though i detest apple, the simple fact is when they market something (anything!) the general population wants it, and competing companies will obviously give the consumers what they want. In the case of a technology that is struggling with consumer mindshare (and that we early adopters realize is awesome), such as NFC payments and wireless charging, that is sorely needed.

      1. That’s a very good point. I use Google Wallet every opportunity I get, and every time I do people look at me like I just stepped out of a Delorean from the year 2037 or something. It was kind of cool at first but I’ve actually gotten to the point where I now enjoy when nobody notices because it is a small sign that it may be slowly becoming more common. It would be great to be able to use it at more than three stores on a regular basis and if it takes the iPhone getting NFC for that to happen, I say bring it on.

  15. It looks like the next iphone will have pma built in. No other reason why their doing this except maybe duracell signed a contract with them.

  16. Ugh, I hate standards battles. Just pick one so we can all benefit from the tech

  17. Tax dodgers pissing in the same pot.

  18. 10,000 milliamp battery problem solved

    1. Yes please. And a 20 core 8.5 GHz with a 4k display?
      Yet I’d still want a 4.7in display..
      Good luck with fitting all that in.

      1. Lol I have that battery on my note 3 no problem

    2. As longs as I have 12 pentabytes of ram I’m good

  19. Cool, one useless standard fighting against another useless standard. Hope they both lose.

  20. PMA? Do they mean PMS? Never heard of this crap. I’ll second guess next time I want a coffee and head to Dunkin instead with these dumb wars.

  21. As an Android AND iOS user im excited to see where this goes.

  22. Why would I want to buy yet another dongle for a wireless charging station?

  23. One less reason to go to starbucks

  24. Great marketing. Hype up an offer that seems like a great idea but prevent loss of revenue by greatly limiting the people who can take advantage of it. Might as well put european plugs in all the charging stations and offer free outlets for your laptops.

  25. So long as I find a Starbucks with an outlet*, I’m good. Charges faster anyway.

    *Much more rare than you would think apparently

  26. Relax I’m sure either starbucks or Duracell will provide a limited number of loner dongles or they’ll become really cheap and will be sold right at the counter. Remember Duracell wants this to be the standard so they’ll need this in as many hands as possible with the reward being long term.

  27. I’m on the side of “Oh for fuck’s sake haven’t we figured out that these pissing matches never work out for the end user?” Screw them both.

    I like/want wireless charging, but come on people, get over yourself with the patent wars and just standardize on something that I can bloody well use.

  28. Starbucks could give away free puppies but that would not change the fact that their coffee sucks!

  29. “If your device doesn’t have PMA built-in, which most don’t, you can purchase a small dongle that will plug in to your device”. Isnt the whole idea of wireless charging is NOT to have to plug and unplug a cable/device to charge? If I have to plug a dongle into my phone everytime I need to charge it I might as well plug in a cable. Stupid.

  30. Starbuck$ is overpriced anyway, stay away.

  31. Wikipedia: “The PMA board of directors includes representatives from … Starbucks …” given this it’s no surprise then. Sadly we know the winning format will be decided by what ever charging system Apple adopt :(

  32. Nae bother. I have a Nexus 5, several QI chargers at home and work and a portable 10,000 MaH QI charger with optional USB 1 or 2 amp charging slots that I carry in my bag. Plus, I buy the best coffee from an independent importer and roaster and grind/brew my own.

    Lucky for organisations like Apple and Starbucks that the vast majority of mankind live in a trance like state, never questioning what is being sold to them. The advertising is so powerful and persuasive that it’s just accepted that if you want the best phone or best coffee, you buy an iphone or get a Starbucks. Then you shuffle along, going about your daily life happy in the knowledge that you’ve got the ‘best’ because someone you don’t know told you so.

    I like to use my wife’s iphone occasionally to remind myself of what it would be like to use a phone that’s someone else’s idea of perfection or I’ll occasionally buy a Starbucks to remind myself of what low-grade, burnt rubber tasting coffee tastes like. It’s pretty awesome being able to decide for yourself what’s best for you, more people should try it :)

  33. Starbucks has horrible coffee and even more-horrible business practices and ethics. I don’t step foot in that hell. And this charging thing is a joke. Just keep a spare battery or 2 with you and you’ll never run out during the day.

    What? You bought a phone without a removable battery? Maybe you shouldn’t have been a sheep and instead voted with your wallet for hardware that WASN’T anti-consumer.

    1. I’m sorry, the correct answer to your second paragraph should have been “Buy a power-pack, or carry a cable/wart with you.” Thanks for playing.

      HTC One, Nexus 5, Motorola X… All phones that don’t have a removable battery, and are totally open-source based.

  34. They’re just going with their demo…

  35. That’s a dumb idea.

  36. AT&T is also part of this ridiculous Power Mat Alliance… that’s why the Nokia 1520 from AT&T has the PM wireless charging instead of Qi… which instantly kills off all of Nokia’s wireless charging accessories. AT&T bullied Nokia to remove Qi in favor of Power Mat…

    It was a failure to begin with… just let it die. Qi is way more universal.

  37. This was a poor decision. By choosing iPhone over Android, Starbucks will lose four (maybe even five) customers.

  38. However, Qi wireless charging is more often used by mobile phone
    manufacturerers, such as LG, Nokia, Nexus, and Motorola. And I’d prefer
    an external battery pack
    while on the go. You can take it out and
    plug in with a USB cable, then the phone gets to charge, and you don’t
    have to stop waititng for the phone being charged up. I carry a RAVPower branded 3,000mAh battery pack
    every day. It’s small and doesn’t take much space of my pocket and

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