Every September, tech firms from across the globe descend on Berlin, Germany, for the IFA consumer electronics show. This year is no different, so here’s what to look forward to at IFA 2016.
WHAT IS IFA? IFA 2016 DATES AND SCHEDULE
IFA, or rather the IFA Berlin, stands for Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin. That’s German for ‘Berlin Radio Show’, although IFA is certainly not just for radios any more; the name is simply a carry-over from the show’s 1924 beginnings.
Today, IFA is one of the biggest electronics shows in the world, giving big brands a chance to showcase the finest in consumer electronics and home appliances.
This year, IFA is set to run from September 2 to September 7, although it’s guaranteed that some companies will hold press conferences and launch products in the few days leading up to the show, too.
Berlin’s IFA conference actually has its own mascot: Miss IFA
Here’s what you should expect from some of the biggest consumer tech brands at IFA 2016.
ACER AT IFA 2016
Acer is hosting an event at IFA 2016 on August 31, so it definitely has something to show off. Unfortunately, we’ve got no idea what it is. With Acer’s recent Liquid Zest Plus launch, we’re not convinced the company will be keen to reveal new smartphones so soon.
There’s a chance that we may see some virtual reality technology, on account of its recent StarVR partnership. Alternatively, we could see some computing products – tablets, laptops, 2-in-1s or, most likely, a new Chromebook.
ALCATEL AT IFA 2016
New Alcatel products are a shoo-in for IFA 2016. It’s highly likely we’ll see a raft of new OneTouch devices. The Chinese technology firm also showed off a tablet at last year’s show, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a follow-up this September.
APPLE AT IFA 2016
It’s basically a given that Apple won’t be attending IFA 2016. The company tends to shy away from trade shows, preferring to host its own events. And given the timing of IFA, it’s easy to see why Apple will be a no-show: Apple is expected to host its annual September iPhone launch within a week or two of IFA 2016, (hopefully) debuting the iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch 2.
ASUS AT IFA 2016
Asus has already pencilled in its press conference for August 31, a few days before the show really begins. Asus unveiled a bevy of smartphones last year, plus a water-cooled laptop. However, given the recent launch of the ZenFone 3, a new standalone smartphone isn’t guaranteed – expect a spin-off instead.
We could also catch a glimpse of the Asus ZenWatch 3, if it exists. The original ZenWatch was revealed at IFA 2014, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see an updated version at IFA 2016.
FITBIT AT IFA 2016
In recent years, IFA has become a hotbed for wearable tech, so it’s almost guaranteed that Fitbit will make a product-toting appearance.
It’s rumoured that Fitbit has two new products to show off this September. According to specialist site Wareable, these devices are codenamed Laryon and Fermion. There’s a chance that these trackers are actually the Fitbit Flex 2 and Fitbit Charge 2, although nothing’s confirmed yet.
HTC AT IFA 2016
HTC’s new HTC 10 smartphone is only a few months old, so it would be madness (unless you’re Sony) to launch a new flagship so soon. A mid-range handset is always a possibility, and according to current rumours HTC may come up with not one but two new desire devices named HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle and Pro.
There’s also a chance we could see the long-rumoured HTC smartwatch, but given the saturation of the wearables market, it seems likely that HTC will continue to play on its strength: virtual reality. However, we’re not convinced the HTC Vive will make any significant appearances at IFA 2016.
Expect a quiet showing from HTC, if at all.
HUAWEI AT IFA 2016
At IFA 2015, Huawei announced its Mate S handset, and offered up some new details about the Huawei Watch. Unfortunately, with the recent launch of the Huawei P9, we’re not entirely sure what to expect from the Chinese tech giant this year.
Due to Huawei’s prolific nature, we wouldn’t rule out a new smartphone, tablet or smartwatch. The most likely launch candidates include the Huawei Mate 9 and the Huawei Mate S2.
LENOVO AT IFA 2016
Lenovo has just launched a bunch of new smartphones under the Moto Z and Moto G brands. However, we may see Lenovo introduce new Moto Mods, the launch of the Moto 360 3 (2016), given IFA’s tendency to host wearable launches.
We could see new tablets, laptops or even bendable smartphones from the firm at its scheduled August 31 press event. Lenovo recently teased its IFA presence in a video we think you must check out here.
LG AT IFA 2016
Last year, LG decided to show off a ritzy smartwatch spin-off – the LG Watch Urbane Luxe. This year? Probably more of the same on the wearable front.
If LG does anything of note, we’d expect to see new LG G5 ‘Friends’ modules, or perhaps a successor to the LG V10. LG has already confirmed that the LG V20 will be arriving in September, and should boast specs similar to the LG G5 – an IFA launch is not confirmed, however.
LG also has a wide range of home appliance and home monitoring products, so new entrants on that front are also likely.
NVIDIA AT IFA 2016
Nvidia supposedly has a new Shield tablet lined up for 2016, but there’s no guarantee that it will launch at IFA. That said, if Nvidia is aiming for a pre-Christmas launch, IFA would be the perfect opportunity for an unveiling.
Nvidia is also heavily invested in driverless car technology, so there’s a good chance we’ll see some new innovations in terms of vehicle components and software.
SAMSUNG AT IFA 2016
Samsung has opted to forgo IFA this year for its main second-half-of-2016 launch: the Galaxy Note 7. That was already showcased at a dedicated Galaxy Unpacked event on August 2, alongside a brand new USB-C Gear VR.
However, Samsung is a firm built on abundance, so we’re guaranteed to see at least something at IFA 2016 from the South Korean tech giant. Possible contenders include the Gear S3 (most likely), as well as a possible appearance from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.
SONY AT IFA 2016
Sony is a tricky customer, because its launch schedules are so baffling. Last year, we saw the Xperia Z5 range launch at IFA then it announced the new Xperia X lineup in February this year instead of the Z6.
So while it’s unlikely we’ll see a new flagship phone, the jury is still out. Two handsets have been rumoured so far, tipped under the model numbers F8331 and F8332. We’ve already seen some leaks regarding an ‘Xperia XR’ handset, including renders of what could be a new, top-end smartphone.
XIAOMI AT IFA 2016
Xiaomi is already teasing its Xiaomi Mi Note 2 smartphone, so we’re fairly confident that it’ll make an appearance at IFA 2016. But there’s no telling what else the fast-growing Chinese smartphone giant has up its sleeve for Berlin this year.
ZTE AT IFA 2016
Last September, ZTE used IFA to show off a number of new products, including the Axon Elite, the Spro projector, the Blade V6 smartphone, and a new Nubia.
The rumour mill has been quiet on the ZTE front this year, however, so we don’t really know what the Chinese firm has in store. A new smartphone is highly likely, however.