- Smartphones with fast charging (>10 watts) accounted for almost 80% of global smartphone sales in Q1 2023, compared to 74% in Q1 2022.
- In Q1 2023, the average power for fast-charging smartphones globally reached 34W, compared to 30W in Q1 2022.
- Chinese smartphone brands are leading this trend by introducing higher-wattage charging across different price points.
London, San Diego, New Delhi, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Hong Kong – July 20, 2023
Sales of fast charging-capable (>10 watts) smartphones accounted for almost 80% of the global smartphone market in Q1 2023, compared to 74% in Q1 2022 and 29% in Q1 2018, according to Counterpoint Research’s Global Quarterly Smartphone Fast Charging Report. The increasing adoption of fast charging-capable smartphones is attributed to growing smartphone usage and continuous advancements in hardware.
Need for fast charging
- Nearly half of all smartphone users spend at least five hours a day on their devices.
- They use the smartphone to stay connected with friends and family, browse the internet, stream content, and play games.
- Besides, advances in smartphone technology, such as the widespread adoption of 5G connectivity and improvements in cameras, displays and processors, have increased the smartphone’s power requirement while enhancing the overall user experience.
These factors have, in turn, led to the demand for smartphones that can be charged faster to ensure uninterrupted usage for at least a full day. As a result, smartphone brands have recognized the importance of fast-charging capabilities and started to embed them in their portfolios.
Fast charging differentiating feature for smartphone brands
Chinese brands are leveraging fast charging as a selling point to attract consumers. For instance, realme and Xiaomi offer smartphones with power capabilities exceeding 200W. Furthermore, Xiaomi and OPPO recently showcased smartphones with an impressive 300W fast charging capability. These brands aim to provide extremely fast charging speeds, enabling users to charge their phones within a few minutes.
Smartphone brands are focusing on making the fast-charging technology affordable. Smartphone brands are embedding fast charging into their lower-priced models as a differentiating factor. While fast charging has already become a standard feature in the >$200 price segment, smartphone brands are now focusing on providing higher-power charging in this segment to achieve the fastest charging speeds. In Q1 2023, the average power for fast-charging smartphones globally reached 34W, compared to 30W in Q1 2022 and 18W in Q1 2018. Smartphones capable of delivering more than 30W can fully charge a completely drained phone in approximately an hour. Charging a smartphone within an hour can be a compelling selling point for smartphone brands.
Chinese smartphone brands are leading this trend by also introducing higher-wattage charging across different price points, especially in the Chinese market where the average power is 50W. On the other hand, brands like Apple and Samsung have focused more on prioritizing battery safety and overall performance over pushing for higher-power chargers.
A few years ago, it was common for smartphones to require hours to charge. But now it has become the norm for recharging to be accomplished in an hour or less, with the fastest achieving a full charge from empty in a few minutes. However, the race to provide faster charging has reached a point of diminishing returns and we expect a shift in emphasis toward other areas of technology in the smartphone in coming years.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
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