The oldest of its kind and one of the biggest in the world, IFA, Berlin's electronics consumer fair turned 90 this year.
Its 250,000 visitors were spoiled for choice with exhibitors displaying all the latest in techie gadgets: from HD TVs to camcorders, tablet PCs and cameras, there were also new generation refrigerators, coffee machines and vacuum cleaners.
Stealing the limelight, however, were the smartphones.
Euronews reporter Cladio Rocco sums up: “The big rival for IFA, this year, is Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress. Many exhibitors here in Berlin came to show off their new smartphones.”
Samsung, Apple’s biggest competitor, unveiled a number of new devices, including its premium high-end smartphone, the Galaxy Note 4.
Scheduled for release in October, it comes with a higher-definition screen, microphones that allow for cleaner recordings and the ability to snap group selfies with a 120-degree view.
“The Galaxy Note 4 has an extra-large screen, (which is great because you can run for example two applications at the same time. So you can, for example, copy pictures straight to the messages,” said Samsung’s Patrick Povel.
“Further we have the pen which is perfect for example for taking notes. You can convert the Note into a virtual reality glass. You can watch movies, you can go to different worlds, you can play games. Finally we have the Galaxy Edge, which has a curved display at the edge, where you can have separate information, you can have your favourite applications here and you can use this to additionally operate this product,” Povel added.
Sony’s Xperia Z2 may not have been around for long but the Japanese firm has already unveiled its new flagship Xperia Z3, a water-proof smartphone with a 4.6 inch screen, that will set you back 650 euros.
Only time will tell whether Sony’s latest offering will help boost sales. So far, the Xperia has barely cracked the top 10 in global shipments.
Chinese firm Huawei was also in Berlin, bearing witness to the stellar growth in Chinese smartphone manufacturers in recent years. So what is their strategy?
“I cannot, of course, tell you about other strategies, I can only talk about Huawei’s strategy. We took the strategic decision, two years ago, to enter the consumers business. We are very big in building networks across the world. We are leveraging the technology we have in house in our consumer products, because we are very confident, that, if we do that, our products will perform better than our competitors,” said Robbert de Graaf, vice president of Huawei Germany.
Huawei unveiled four new handsets in Berlin, and the leading light of the line-up was the Ascend Mate 7, a smartphone with an octa-core processor and a 6-inch screen, that will cost you around 500 euros.
Besides the latest and greatest in phones, IFA was also the place for the new connected home: Siemens and Bosch unveiled their new smart home service, Home Connect, with plans to release dishwashers and ovens by the end of the year, followed by refrigerators and coffeemakers in 2015.
These intelligent appliances can be switched on remotely by using an app on your tablet or smartphone.
No more burnt cakes with Bosch’s new smart oven, which recognises the kind of food you are cooking and automatically switches off when it is done.
And the electronics giant’s new smart fridge is equipped with two cameras so you can check what is missing on your shelves when out shopping for food. Yours for a snip at just 1.500 to 2.000 euros per appliance…