The world's leading trade show for consumer electronics, the IFA Berlin, will open on Sep. 6. Global electronics and IT companies will showcase their latest wares at the event.
Competition has been heating up between makers of smartphones and tablet PCs, while there is also a resurgent trend of fusing smart devices with home appliances.
◆ New Phones and Tablets
Samsung is unveiling its Galaxy Note 3 smartphone on Wednesday, two days before the IFA kicks off. The gadget is halfway between a phone and a tablet with a 5.9-inch monitor. Samsung is also expected to unveil a smartwatch called Galaxy Gear.
LG is setting up a separate booth for mobile devices at the IFA for the first time, rather than displaying phones alongside TVs and other products. The company's key product is the G2 premium smartphone unveiled earlier this month and the 8.3-inch tablet PC G Pad set for release in the fourth quarter.
Sony, which has been shifting its focus to LTE smartphones, plans to unveil its next-generation Xperia i1 smartphone, which comes with a 20-million-pixel camera and is waterproof.
China's Lenovo, meanwhile, is expected to showcase a premium smartphone featuring Qualcomm's snapdragon 800 chip. Taiwan's HTC is also expected to unveil a large phone with a 5.9-inch screen.
◆ Next-Generation TVs
The highlight of the IFA has traditionally been TVs, because large screens are guaranteed to turn the heads of visitors. None of the participating companies has released specific information about their latest TVs to be unveiled at the IFA, but OLED and UHD (ultra high-definition) TVs are expected to dominate the stage.
TVs are getting cheaper as makers compete to appeal to the masses. According to Consumer Reports, Samsung cut the price of its 55-inch UHD TV in the U.S. from US$5,500 to $4,000, and its 65-inch TV from $7,500 to $5,500. Sony followed suit by reducing the price of its 55 and 65-inch TVs by $1,000 to $1,500.
Samsung and LG have also slashed prices of curved OLED TVs. They sold them for W15 million (US$1=W1,111) in Korea, but Samsung was the first to slash the price to W9.9 million, and LG followed by reducing the price tag to W10.9 million.
Chinese home appliance maker TCL rolled out a $999 50-inch UHD TV last month and will showcase it at the IFA.