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It was a long time coming, but Google(s goog) Nexus 4 phone owners can soon charge their handset without attaching a wire. On Monday, Google’s Play Store began offering the official Wireless Charging Orb for the Nexus 4. The small, round magnetic charger costs $59. Google says it should ship within one week of ordering.
The angled orb must be plugged into a standard outlet for charging to work. So the wireless part has to do with the Nexus 4 itself. Placing the phone on the charging pad will fully re-charge the phone’s battery in four hours. There are no additional features on the orb itself; it simply lets you put your phone down and top off or refill the integrated battery.
Wireless charging is one of those great-sounding technologies that really hasn’t gone mainstream. I though that might change with the Palm Pre a few years back; that handset had a wireless charging puck and special phone cover. Of course, we all know how that went: Palm was consumed by HP(s hpq) and the phone line died off.
Part of the issue with wireless charging is that requires a special cover or component in devices, which add costs. Various wireless charging standards haven’t helped either: Placing a device on an incompatible charging pad means you’ll have to spend even more money for a different solution. And in the case of the Nexus 4, a $59 price tag may keep some away from world of wireless charging.