Over 100,000 visitors are expected to stream to Berlin’s International Consumer Electronics Fair which opens on Friday. The weeklong show aims to remain the world's most important platform for consumer electronics.
Heading to IFA
The timing couldn’t be any better for this year’s consumer electronics fair (IFA) in Berlin. With sales figures in the consumer electronics (CE) segment having risen by 8.3 percent worldwide in 2004 and another ten percent in the first half of 2005, business at and around the fair is promising to be very brisk.
The IFA has improved continually over 45 years and fair directors believe things can only get better in 2005.
"The IFA has been the place to be for the electronics consumer," said chief operating officer Christian Göke. "We see this fair is truly going to be the best one, the most successful one with regard to all key figures."
You don't have to be a redhead to enjoy electronic gadgets
Providing the biggest push to sales figures has been the continued digitalization of electronic gadgets, including broadcasting devices, game consoles, cell phones and mp3 players. But an even greater impact is expected to come from high-definition televisions (HDTV) which are all the rage at the IFA and are about to conquer the mass market.
Some 80 exhibitors from around the globe, including the much-courted newcomers Kobra Multimedia and Sampo Corporation, are presenting numerous HD appliances at the fairgrounds. Flat screen sets are on the "most wanted" lists of many people these days.
A wall of flat screen televisions at IFA
"21 percent of all households in Germany want to buy a flat-screen television in the next 24 months," said Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the Consumer Electronics Trade Association. "I think this underpins the positive trend and the positive mood in the consumer electronics area."
IFA as family outi n g
"From a visitor's standpoint, IFA has always been a kind of huge department store, giving you the latest models from the entire scene," Göke said.
DW-RADIO and Radio France International will be presenting a special program from the fair which is meant to push a joint new broadcasting technology called Radio Digital Mondiale, or DRM, which enables people to listen to short-wave radio with near-FM sound quality.
DW-WORLD and DW-TV are also present at the fair.