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Published on May 12th, 2017 | by The GC Team

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IFA revamp sees more spaces for brands

This year’s IFA consumer electronics and home appliances show will offer even more exhibition space for brands, reports George Cole. That was the pledge by Dr Christian Göke (pictured), chief executive officer of Messe Berlin, at this year’s IFA Global Press Conference (GPC) held in Lisbon. IFA, which runs in Berlin from 1-6 September, is creating more space by creating IFA Global Markets, a new exhibition site near Potsdamer Platz, which will be a showcase for design and components for future products.

IFA NEXT, located in Hall 26, will focus on innovation, and include start-ups, research labs, presentations and conference areas. IFA hopes that these moves will result in this year’s IFA being even bigger than IFA 2016, which attracted 1800 exhibitors and 240,000 visitors. “The CE market continues to shape everything,” said Göke. “Only IFA gives you the fuller picture.”

Jürgen Boyny, global director, consumer electronics at GfK market insights, said that Smart TVs will account for 53% of the European TV market by volume in 2017, and UHD TV for 30%. “Demand is being driven by innovation and larger screens, and 60-inch plus TVs will account for 4% of this year’s market,” he said. Boyny also expects connected devices and voice control to be hot topics at IFA 2017.

Natalia Andrievskaya, global director Major Domestic Appliances at GfK, said that “the online channel accounts for a fifth of the MDA market. In some countries, online is the only growing channel.” Smart and connected devices were growth areas, but, she added, “we need to challenge retailers and get them on board to create the pull effect.” She noted that retailers found it expensive to create show homes, and said that manufacturers could help by providing retailers with virtual reality or augmented reality solutions, to provide the in-store consumer experience. This message was echoed by Boyny, who said: “The Internet of Things (IoT) is difficult for retailers. IoT will happen, but consumers have to understand the benefits of connected devices.”

Michael Zöller, Samsung’s vice president, head of visual display Europe, revealed that the company plans to launch more UHD TV models this year, and announced The Frame, a wall-mounted TV which displays artwork when switched off. It comes in 55- and 65-inch versions.

Sennheiser unveiled its Ambeo smart headset, which can record 360-degree sound when connected to a smartphone.

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