More than 6 billion wireless chargers are expected to ship over the next five years, a staggering growth rate spurred on by Apple’s entry into the market with the iPhone 8 and X and its failure – so far – to produce its promised AirPower pad, according to a new report.

Annual unit shipments for wireless power receivers and transmitters across all applications are forecast to grow from 450 million units in 2017 to more than 2.2 billion units in 2023, according to IHS. Cumulatively more than six billion receiver units and 2.7 billion transmitter units are expected to ship between 2018 and 2023.

Apple has had a major impact on both adoption and a potential stunting of wireless charging technology, according to IHS principal analyst Dinesh Kithany.

Wireless charging marketIHS

Apple’s decision to adopt induction-based (Qi-specification) wireless charging technology for its iPhones in 2017 legitimized the technology; that move also pushed providers of competing wireless technology to shift their focus from mobile phones to other markets in search of new opportunities involving wearables, medical devices and the automotive electric vehicles (EVs) segment.

This year, however, Apple’s failure to produce its AirPower multi-device wireless charger, which it announced more than a year ago and promised to ship in 2018, may have dampened consumer and market enthusiasm and slowed the adoption of wireless charging technology, IHS said.

In fact, Apple didn’t even mention AirPower at its September iPhone event or at its Brooklyn, N.Y. event this week. The company has not responded to multiple requests by Computerworld for information about the device.