The Speculation: If you've been following the news lately you might expect to see wireless charging stations appear at all your favorite haunts in 2013. This past fall, Nokia, HTC and others released phones with Qi-standard wireless charging support built-in while. At the same time, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf announced its plan to install compatible charging pads in its tables and Virgin Atlantic said it will offer the same in its airport lounges. Jay Z also announced a partnership with Duracell to bring that company's charging mats to several New York hotspots, including his own 40/40 club. Could Starbucks, McDonald's, 7-11 and Chucky Cheese be next? Not in 2013.
Why it Won't Happen in 2013: While many new phones this fall support the Qi wireless charging standard, Samsung and Qualcomm have loaned their support to the competing Alliance for Wireless Power (AW4P) standard. There's nothing like a standards war to make restaurant chains invest millions in upgrading their infrastructure to support half a dozen phones, none of which is an iPhone. Don't expect to see many more public places with wireless charging until Apple picks a standard and builds support into its products.