IFA 2014 kicks off in Berlin on Friday, with thousands of consumer technology companies attending and hundreds of new devices launching. Although not as big as the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas or Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, IFA has developed a reputation for producing big announcements in consumer electronics.
Originally known for showcasing new home appliances, IFA has taken a major turn toward smartphones and tablets since 2011, with Samsung launching the Galaxy Note and, more recently, its first smart watch at the event.
This year, observers expect to see several flagship products in smartphones, smart watches and smart appliances launched by Samsung, LG, Sony and others.
Smartphones, Smart Watches
Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 may be the most anticipated new device expected to launch at IFA, but the company also will release pricing and availability details for its Galaxy Alpha smartphone, which was first announced several weeks ago. Meanwhile, Sony is expected to launch the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact. Microsoft, following its acquisition of Nokia's devices and services divisions, will be launching the Lumia 730 and Lumia 830, both of which will be running Windows Phone 8.1. Qualcomm has already given a sneak peek at a new HTC handset running a 64-bit processor. Lenovo may also take the opportunity to unveil its Vibe X2 phone, which will run on the Android L operating system.
LG's G3 Stylus smartphone also will be debuting at IFA. The G3 Stylus will reportedly come with a 13-megapixel camera, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage memory, and will run on Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The phone is rumored to be priced more cheaply than its G3 sibling.
Last year Samsung launched its first smart watch at IFA, the Galaxy Gear. This year, it is expected to unveil the Gear S, its sixth smart watch, which is expected to feature a 3G connection to allow users to make calls without connecting to a smartphone. The wearable is a Tizen OS-based watch featuring a curved face and a built-in SIM slot.
Sony has two smart watches of its own to unveil, the SmartWatch 3 and SmartBand Talk, while Asus will be launching an Android Wear device, the ZenWatch, rumored to be priced for less than $200. LG has already given us a peek at the Android Wear device it plans to launch at IFA, a circular smart watch called the LG G Watch R. (continued...)