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IFA 2018: What Can We Expect?

market intelligence

IFA 2018: What Can We Expect?

IFA 2018: What Can We Expect?


Radio was cutting edge technology almost a century ago, and the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA), or Berlin International Radio Show, can truly claim to be “a partner to the future” having been a showcase for new technologies since 1924. The week-long event is still drawing in the crowds, and it’s estimated that this year’s IFA will welcome more than 1,800 exhibitors and 250,000 visitors when the doors open on 31st August— many of them industry professionals looking to build out their networks and scout for the latest technology innovations.

Relative newcomers to the technology show scene CES and MWC may have stolen some of the new products thunder earlier in the year, but this venerable exhibition still has the capacity to surprise, and provide a tantalising snapshot into the cutting edge of consumer technology.

The biggest rumours
At this stage we’re still short on concrete details, but there’s enough info out there to pull together a broad picture of what to expect. As the last major consumer tech show of the year, the major electronics players will all be looking to make an impact with some announcements.

Mobile computing continues to play an important part in the show, and the consumer electronics space as a whole. This year Huawei is rumoured to be announcing a 6.9in OLED phablet to top last year’s well received Mate 10 Pro, alongside a possible smartwatch model. LG is said to be prepping a new V-series smartphone which could feature as many as five on-board cameras. It will also feature the firm’s ThinQ capabilities which use AI to enhance performance and usability. There could be a new flagship Samsung phablet to look at, with the Note 9 predicted to be unveiled later this month.

Other manufacturers set to debut new offerings at IFA include Asus, Acer, Panasonic, Philips, Toshiba, Sony, and Nokia — the latter now owned by AMD Global and said to be developing a new flagship Nokia 9 handset which could also feature five cameras.

Away from the mobile space, artificial intelligence will be another key theme at IFA 2018, with LG’s CEO and CTO outlining their vision while Microsoft’s consumer and device sales VP will describe how the firm is using the technology to improve its products. It’s also rumoured that Samsung could announce a new high-end smart home speaker powered by a new version of its Bixby voice assistant tech.

The smart home returns
In fact, the smart home is set for centre stage again at IFA after making a big impact last year. In 2017 more than 70 companies demonstrated their wares in a dedicated area covering over 3,000 square meters. Behind the scenes, three smart home associations in the UK, Germany and France signed an agreement to work together more closely on promoting the technology.

These efforts are likely to continue in 2018, with the UK’s Smart Homes & Buildings Association (SH&BA) set to launch its Smart Home Young Leaders forum. This new group has been set up to help further accelerate growth in the industry and assist companies with the transition from old to new smart home technologies.

CONTEXT global MD Adam Simon is the chair of the SH&BA and as part of our commitment to the industry, we’ll be launching new smart home research at IFA 2018 to help shine some insight into current market trends. Last year’s research revealed more consumers were prepared to buy smart home products over the coming 12 months that in the preceding year, and were willing to spend more. It will be interesting to see whether there’s been any change in the intervening months and if Germany and the UK are still leading the way in Western Europe


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