Infographic: would consumers subscribe to a service that keeps phones charged out of home?

30 August 2018

Battery anxiety – fear of running out of mobile battery – is real, but how real is it and what are people willing to do about it?

The survey

In July this year, we surveyed over 1000 US adults to understand this. We asked them about battery anxiety, but we also presented a novel idea:

We are considering launching a service that would keep your phone charged pretty much all the time, without having to use a cable or a charging pad.

In a way, it would be like WiFi: just like you have access to WiFi at home, at work, and in public places, your phone would be able to charge itself without your intervention at these places.

The phone would automatically charge anytime it is out of your pocket. For instance, you could place it on the kitchen counter, or on a table at a restaurant and it would charge.

And then asked the pricing question as follows:

If the service was priced at a monthly fee, how much – per month – would you be willing to pay for this service? Please enter a number in dollars per month.

Our findings

We summarized the results in an infographic – click here or on the picture to the right to see it in full. We also summarized them in a report here: Wireless is the new WiFi: Charging as a service survey (298 downloads)

The results were very interesting. On average, people were willing to pay $14.48 per month for this service and some groups were willing to pay in excess of $25 per month.

What does this mean?

We believe that service providers should consider changing their mindset regarding long-range wireless charging from “a product accessory to be sold at our store” to “a service component that can increase ARPU”.

The mindset that wireless charging is an accessory probably stems from the experience of selling Qi pads. Qi pads offer added convenience relative to charging with a cable but do not fundamentally change the user experience. The user still has to find the charger, carefully align the phone on it, and leave the phone on the charger.

In contrast, long-range wireless charging provides a dramatic improvement in the user experience:

  • Users must no longer actively manage the phone battery. Phones appear to charge themselves, without user intervention.
  • Users no longer need to carry cords or power banks with them.

Because of this dramatic improvement, users seem to be willing to pay a monthly fee for ‘charging as a service.

There is still a lot of work to make this a reality. A visionary service provider is required that is willing to make the necessary investments in marketing and infrastructure, but the potential is there for the taking.



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