<i>These inductive pads still tie your phone/laptop to a specific place, which will still have a cable running to it (to power the pad).
All this appears to save you is the couple of seconds that it takes to plug in the device.</i>
That's fine when you're talking about one device. But when you have a mobile, a bluetooth headset, a laptop, a bluetooth mouse and a digital camera, and your partner has the same again and so do your kids, then you're looking at having anything up to 20 chargers to recharge everything. Being able to just dump a pile of kit on one pad would be a real advantage in comparison.
Not only that, but if inductive pads were common, then all portable electric/electronic devices would start being able to use them, which might allow higher drain on devices that usually use disposable batteries, like portable radios, TV remotes and watches (helping digital radio, eg DAB+ and also making SideShow remotes practical)