When Starbucks originally introduced wireless charging pads in its stores, it had partnered with a company called Powermat to supply them. The charging standard being used was PMA which was already supported on a number of devices and has since sprouted onto more and more. But most people who visit Starbucks (and let’s be honest here for a second) have an iPhone, and this year’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X all support wireless charging. The problem is these handsets sport the Qi wireless standard and not PMA. This could spell trouble for Starbucks’ efforts to supply a modern way of charging your phone, but luckily, the way these systems are set up, a simple software upgrade can resolve the dilemma.

According to SlashGear who spoke to Powermat’s CTO, the systems installed in Starbucks locations across the country are designed to be as generic as possible. This allows the company to push out new software to support any new or different wireless charging standards – if possible – such as Qi, PMA, and Samsung’s Wireless Fast Charging. Therefore, despite the charging pads originally offering PMA wireless charging, they can be updated over the air to support Qi wireless charging and let anyone who walks in with an iPhone 8 or iPhone X charge up.

Since Qi isn’t exclusive to the iPhone, any other phone that exclusively supports Qi wireless charging can also be charged at Starbucks. So really, Powermat is doing not only iPhones a favor but others as well.

Of course, iPhone 8/X buyers will get the most out of this update since it’s the first time an Apple product supported such a charging standard, so accommodating¬†the devices’ hardware was inevitable, whether that meant swapping all the charging pads out for new ones or just updating the existing pads’ software. So in a nutshell, if you were worried you couldn’t spend $6 on a Pumpkin Spice Latte this fall and charge your new $1,000 iPhone wirelessly at the same time, you can sleep easy tonight knowing this issue has been resolved.


Posted by Max Buondonno

Founder and executive editor at Matridox (formally MBEDDED). I've also founded and am the sitting CEO at MBEDDED Media, a new kind of media company. Lover of anything and everything involving technology. I know CSS and basic HTML to an extent. Writer, blogger, critic, coder, and self-certified genius. Oh, and I'm told I'm a legend, if that means anything to you.

One Comment

  1. […] Six years ago when wireless charging was just becoming a thing, there was reason to have multiple standards to test the waters and see what would stick. Back then, we had three standards: Qi, PMA, and what’s now known as Airfuel. The latter two joined forces in 2015, and today they both admit defeat to the clearly dominate Qi standard. Now, if a device has wireless charging on board, you should no doubt be able to use it with any wireless charger you find, whether it’s sitting in your home or integrated into a tablet at Starbucks. […]



Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s