IFA organizer Berlin Messe, which is the biggest European consumer electronics trade show and held in the German capital at the end of summer each year, opened its Global Press Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on Friday. The organizers were there to present the trends that will dominate IFA 2012, teasing products from its biggest exhibitors, like Samsung, Panasonic, and others.
From the remarks, it’s clear that despite the recent rise of so-called smart televisions, HDTVs will not dominate the show as they have in the past. Instead, tablets will take their place. The TV market in Europe and many other countries has been in decline this past year, while tablets are on the rise. Smartphones and tablets are becoming primary screens to many users, and this will be reflected in the European tech showcase.
Tablets to Dominate HDTVs
At the preview, companies that were once HDTV market innovators showed off mobile gadgets, like iPhone and iPad docks. German Loewe had the most elegant device on hand, while Philips demoed a device that enables video, photo or music streaming to a HDTV from any Android smartphone or tablet. Furthermore, Philips showed off a line of speaker systems from its Fidelio line that are all intended for smartphone and tablet music reproduction.
In fact, it was Philips that most vividly showed in Dubrovnik how the HDTV market is suffering due to tablets and smartphones with the first public showing of TP Vision, its new spin-off that will handle the entire Phillips HDTV production and sales business.
Samsung, which has used past IFAs to unveil some of its flagship Galaxy devices, brought some of its current high-end handsets and tablets, from Galaxy Beam to Galaxy Note 10.1. Sammy also presented its Smart TV management system that enables gesture and voice navigation. The solution is based around a camera built into the top of the television and is reminiscent of the Microsoft Kinect.
For those interested in the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung reps confirmed, off the record, that it will be presented in a European city in May and will feature full HD resolution.
iPad to Still Rule Market
At a panel discussion on the first day of the IFA Global Press Conference, analytics company representatives were almost unanimous in the belief that no company would jeopardize Apple’s domination regarding tablets in the upcoming year or two. It was discussed whether Android even had a shot, especially considering the arrival of Windows 8, which will coincide with the IFA show in the fall. The general consensus was that Windows 8 might eat into Android market share or expand the market, while the iPad will continue to be in high demand following the release of iOS 6.