The biggest consumer electronics trade show in Europe, IFA, will open its doors in Berlin on September 2. Alongside CES and Mobile World Congress, IFA, now in its 51st year, has become one of the most electronic tradeshows in the world. Until recently, technologies linked solely to the home entertainment sector dominated the Berlin show, but with last year’s launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab (along with several other tablets) at IFA, the show is now seen as a showcase for tablets, smartphones and laptops.
Last year’s numbers indicate the show’s size, with 230,000 plus attendees over five days. Unlike CES and Mobile World Congress, which are limited to industry professionals and press, anyone can purchase a ticket for IFA. Still, the attendance numbers are impressive and by that metric, IFA is convincingly the world’s biggest global technology exhibition. The exhibitors know this too, and the big names in CE are set to lease the whole pavilion, including Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba.
Samsung to Take Center Stage
The most interesting announcements are expected from Samsung, which will hold a press conference the day before IFA. From the teaser published by Samsung, it’s clear that the Galaxy maker will unveil at least three new devices: the Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Wave III and Galaxy Note.
It is most clear what Wave III is, as well. It will be a third generation Wave smartphone that will use Samsung’s updated platform, Bada OS (version 2.0.1). It is rumored that Wave III will be equipped with a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, and possibly sport a dual core processor.
It is also quite clear what Galaxy Tab 7.7 is simply from its moniker. Given Samsung’s Galaxy Tab naming convention (Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9), this will be a 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab. Also, it’s safe to assume the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will run Android Honeycomb 3.2, which was specifically created to bring Honeycomb to smaller-screen tablets.
What is most uncertain is the Galaxy Note, which could be any one of three things. Perhaps, this is a device with a Microsoft operating system that could be a hybrid between a tablet and a notebook (Samsung has presented a similar device at CES with a sliding keyboard, but there has been no word of it since). Also, it is possible that it will be a pen-supported tablet designed for note taking, similar to the HTC Flyer. Finally, the Galaxy Note could actually be the rumored Galaxy Q device.
The Galaxy Q is an interesting gadget. Rumors suggest it is a smartphone/tablet hybrid that should come with a 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display and a dual core processor. So how will the Galaxy Q be different from the poorly-received Dell Streak? Well, this device could sport Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the first version of the Google platform intended for both smartphones and tablets.
Also, Samsung will surely present the Smart View application for Galaxy S II, which will enable users of this powerful smartphone to follow contents from TV sets equipped with Samsung’s Smart TV technology via a Wi-Fi connection. Samsung is also expected to showcase the Galaxy Tab 8.9, which hasn’t been seen out and about much since its unveiling at CTIA last spring.
HTC and Sony Also in Attendance
HTC will surely get a lot of attention at the tradeshow, judging from the mysterious invitation for an event scheduled during the first day of the show. HTC will simultaneously hold events in several other cities in Europe and since Microsoft has announced the official reveal of the Windows Phone Mango the same day, it is highly likely that devices with this operating system will be presented. The first could be HTC Eternity, which will have a huge 4.7-inch S-LCD screen and a 1.5 GHz processor, while the other, HTC Omega, will have a 3.8-inch display, an 8-megapixel camera and the same processor.
Sony has announced it will exhibit two of its tablets with Android Honeycomb, currently with code names S1 and S2. The S1 model has a 9.4-inch screen, while S2 comes with two 5.5-inch touchscreen. Both devices are based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. The S1 model will focus on Sony’s multimedia service Qriocity, while S2 may be focused on PlayStation Suite integration.
Mysterious LG, Buzzworthy 3D
LG is exceptionally mysterious about this year’s appearance at IFA and it is hard to anticipate if any surprising announcements are in store. Still, a middle-class smartphone will be shown, called the Optimus Sol. It will have a 3.8-inch AMOLED screen with WVGA resolution, a 1 GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera and the latest version of the Android OS.
Toshiba has already announced the theme of its press conference where it will unveil the first notebook in the world with a glasses-free 3D screen. Glasses-free 3D will be the most talked about topic at this year’s Berlin show in regards to the home entertainment segment, so expect Toshiba to present TV sets with such a screen, as well as Philips, Samsung, Panasonic, LG and others. The trade show will also feature Nokia, Dell, Acer, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, RIM, Microsoft, NVIDIA and hundreds of other companies. The TechnologyGuide team will have boots on the ground to report on all the buzzworthy news and gadget happenings.