Upgrades broaden application base from mobile phones and car electronics to tablet PCs.
China makers of car chargers and mounts are directing product development toward greater compatibility and functionality to match dynamic trends in the mobile and automotive electronics applications.
|Firenew's KF-CC-315D model is a dual-USB charger with a pull ring design.|
Taking advantage of the robust sales of the iPad and iPhone, most companies are upgrading models to enable them to support more devices, including tablet PCs. The latest releases have a higher current output than existing 1A versions, which suit MP3 players, GPS and mobile phones only. The former are similarly rated at 5V but provide 1.5, 2.1, and 3.1A. These types are expected to break into the mainstream in coming months.
Further, new variants boast dual USB ports. The BW-C044 model from Best Wisdom (Shenzhen) Industrial Ltd delivers 5V/2.1A output and can power up one iPad, or two iPhones or other handsets, GPS, or MP3, MP4 and MP5 players. Firenew Technology Co. Ltd’s KF-CC-315D model is rated at 5V/3.1A and can accommodate the iPad through its 2A port and the iPhone via the 1A slot simultaneously. The unit also works with the iPod and other MP3 players, GPS, PDAs and digital cameras. The supplier offers 1, 2.1 and 3.1A versions of the KF-CC-315D with one or two USB ports.
Enterprises are likewise rolling out compact and user-friendly variants.
Zhongshan Jungang Electronic Co. Ltd’s model EACC107 5V/2A dual-USB charger measures 32x32x60mm and Shenzhen Chaolitong Electronics Co. Ltd’s CLT-PC-105 25.1x25.1x44.5mm. The HC-04 model from Gaoyi Tech Ltd is a charger doubling as a holder. It rotates 360 degrees and adjusts to various mobile phone sizes.
Stand-alone car mounts, meanwhile, integrate value enhancements such as FM transmitters and Bluetooth. These come in dashboard, windshield, headrest, roof and airconvent varieties. The units have a maximum loading capacity of 10kg, enabling them to work with GPS, smartphones, mobile Internet devices and portable DVD players.
To avoid product homogeneity, the majority of makers use private molds developed in-house or by third-party designers.
Buoying the category is steadily growing demand from the bullish handset and mobile electronics industries. Best Wisdom projects a 20 to 30 percent increase in its revenue by year-end.
The supplier and most local enterprises expect the boost to come from the North America and the EU markets, where sales of smartphones and tablet PCs are high.
Mainstream models with an output current of 1 to 1.5A are compatible with portable media players, PDAs, GPS and the iPod.
New versions delivering 2.1 or 3.1A can charge the iPhone, the iPad and other tablet PCs through a single or dual USB ports.
Across the different types, units plug into cigarette lighter sockets and support 12/24VDC. All meet CE, RoHS, FCC and E-Mark requirements.
Prices vary depending on the power attributes and other features.
Single-port entry-level models providing 500mA list at about $0.80, and 1 and 1.5A counterparts at $1.40. Those capable of 2 or 3A and have two USB ports are from $2 to $3. An extra port adds $0.10.
Releases with value-added functions such as FM transmitter, MP3/MPEG-4 playback and Bluetooth go for $5 to $20.
IC controllers are sourced from local suppliers Shanghai Xinlong and Universe Micro.
Some enterprises turn to Taiwan providers. The typical inputs used in DC conversion include the 34063, 2576, XL4001, XL4002, XL4101 and XL4102, which have built-in short circuit, and overvoltage and -current function. Most companies use ABS for the housing, and a few adopt PP or PC.
Rising production costs and the appreciating yuan continue to be challenges to mainland China makers. To address this, businesses will adjust quotes in the months ahead, but will limit the increase to 5 percent.
Manufacturers such as Zhongshan Jungang Electronic Co. Ltd are acquiring their own injection molding machines to produce molds in-house and lower outlay.
Makers of car chargers and mounts in Taiwan are riding on smartphones and tablet PCs, rolling out models for the iPhone, iPod and iPad, Galaxy Tab and HTC products. These complement selections for other mobile phones and navigation devices.
Chargers come with a connector and a Mini-USB port for the iPhone and other electronic gadgets, respectively. Several models are capable of simultaneous charging and playback.
Mounts are available in windshield, dashboard and vent options. Some are designed for a specific device type or brand, and the rest come in universal configurations.
Makers are launching hybrid versions with Mini-USB ports that double as chargers. Digidock Development Inc.’s CR-3400FMIP model is a holder, charger and FM transmitter in one unit. The supplier also offers single- and dual-joint variants, and universal designs with a suction cup base that attaches firmly to the windshield, dashboard, middle console or even a table. Some companies also offer retractable mounts or those with a swiveling joint or foot for angle and vertical and horizontal adjustment. Entry-level chargers and mounts with a plastic housing and no special coating are priced below $5. Units with an FM transmitter in single- or double-joint configuration exceed $10.
Best Wisdom (Shenzhen) Industrial Ltd
Digidock Development Inc.
Fan-Jet Enterprise Co. Ltd
Fan-Jet Enterprise Co. Ltd
Firenew Technology Co. Ltd
Gaoyi Tech Ltd
Haicom Electronics Corp.
Model: HI-144 C+V
Shenzhen Chaolitong Electronics Co. Ltd
Model: CLT-PC 2USB-01
Zhongshan Jungang Electronic Co. Ltd
Note: This article "Enhanced compatibility of car chargers and mounts emphasized" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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