IFA Berlin 2016: Samsung and Lenovo first of the big names to show off new gadgets

BERLIN // If you’re in the market for a new phone, washing machine, TV or camera, best head to Berlin this week, as the world’s second largest consumer electronics trade show cranks into action.

IFA (short for Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin) is one of Europe’s oldest and largest electronics and appliances shows, where the industry’s biggest names (with one large notable exception) come to unveil their latest tech innovations.

More than 1,645 companies, stretching out over 150,000 square metres will be showing off their wares from tomorrow, with just shy of a quarter of a million visitors expected to pass through the show’s doors before it closes five days later.

Only Las Vegas’s mammoth Consumer Electronic Show can beat the Berlin event for sheer scale. And with so many companies competing for your attention over five days, it’s not surprising that many of the big names will be setting out their stall ahead of the show’s opening.

Samsung and Lenovo are the first of the big names out of the gate, with launch events on Wednesday evening.

Samsung is all but certain to unveil the Gear S3, the latest iteration of its smartwatch, and the Galaxy Tab S3, its latest Android tablet, at an event tonight. Beyond the mobile space, we can expect the Korean giant to unveil a series of new televisions, monitors and homeware appliances in the coming days as well.

The video invite for Lenovo’s Wednesday evening event looks particularly intriguing, with brief hints of bendy smartphones and tablets (the effect appears to be intentional, unlike with larger Apple handsets), and a laptop with “a new kind of intuitive keyboard”. New smartwatches are also on the cards via Motorola.

Sony, LG and Huawei join the fun on Thursday, with a series of mobile, gaming and home gaming and entertainment announcements, before the floodgates open for the Friday show itself, where anybody who’s any­body will be keen to show off their new wares.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a huge electronics trade show without a few genuinely odd gadgets on display, such as last year’s smart insoles for running shoes, and the 3D printer that can print pizza and biscuits.

And the one company that couldn’t make it? Apple, as usual, won’t be gracing IFA with its presence, keeping us waiting until September 7 for its launch event in San Francisco, with a new iPhone and new Apple Watch almost certainly on the cards.


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John Everington

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