Samsung and LG are getting ready for a showdown in Germany over the top spot in the global TV market as a massive trade show gets underway.
The Internationale Funkausstellung, Europe's biggest consumer technology trade fair, which starts in Berlin Friday, will see companies vying harder than ever to win the hearts of consumers in the world's IT and home appliances market amid the global recession.
The IFA, now in its 52nd year, is one of the world's three biggest consumer electronics exhibitions along with the Communication Electronic Systems in Las Vegas held in January every year and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.
◆ Next-Generation TVs
Samsung and LG are the top two in the world's TV market and will target the European market with large next-generation OLED TVs. Both showcased 55-inch OLED TVs at the CES in January, and will start mass-producing them this year.
OLED TVs have superior definition and brightness to existing TVs and are expected to become the mainstream in the TV market in two or three years.
Huge expectations ride on LG's 84-inch ultra-definition TV and Samsung's 75-inch Smart TV. The UD TV has four times better definition than a high-definition TV.
According to a market research firm iSuppli, Samsung had a 19.2 percent TV market share worldwide, and LG, the perpetual runner-up, 13.2 percent. The IFA will be a decisive opportunity to increase the lead or narrow the gap.
◆ Mobile Products
Although the IFA's main focus is home appliances, a great number of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PC will also be exhibited. The most hype so far surrounds Samsung's "Mobile Unpacked" event on Wednesday.
Samsung, which suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Apple in a U.S. patent suit, wants to pre-empt the effect of the launch of Apple's new iPhone this fall with its latest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 2.
PCs, tablet PCs and smartphones sporting Microsoft's next-generation OS Windows 8 will be on display. Windows 8 can be used in PCs and mobile devices.
Now that Apple's victory in the patent battle has dealt a big blow to the Android OS for mobile phones, Microsoft hopes to fill the resulting gap.
Over 1,300 firms from more than 50 countries in the world, including Samsung, LG, Sony, Toshiba, and Philips will participate in the IFA, slightly fewer than last year’s 1,441 companies from 54 countries.