IFA is a trade show of big displays, big sights and big tech. Andrew Hoyle/CNET
September always marks the busiest season in the gadget universe. But before the pre-holiday rush and next week’s Apple event, the industry turns its attention to Berlin for one of the biggest tech trade shows in Europe. Take CES and Mobile World Congress, add a healthy dose of appliances, shake vigorously and you wind up with IFA. Also called Internationale Funkausstellung (or “Berlin Radio Show”), IFA has been happening in some form since 1924. Then it was all radios, but over the years it grew to include gadgets of all types (an early form of TV was shown in 1931) plus a heavy emphasis on appliance and smart home tech. And it’s unique among tech trade shows in that members of the public can pay a few euros to visit the show and see all the new tech for themselves.
Given the expansive and hard-to-pin-down nature of IFA, we’re sending a large and diverse team to Germany’s capital to bring you the highlights. Joining me and CNET’s crew from London are news reporter Shara Tibken from San Francisco, our smart-home team from Louisville, Kentucky, led by Rich Brown and CNET TV’s Mark Licea from New York.
We’ll be working through the week to bring you the best of IFA in words, photos and video. Here’s how the show will play out.
Great tech from IFA past (pictures)
Wednesday, September 2
The first of two official press days, Wednesday holds a number of press conferences mostly focusing on mobile and computing news. Kicking off in the morning is Intel, which (of course) will likely talk chips. Following close behind are events from Acer and Huawei. If history tells us anything, Acer should use IFA to launch new Chromebooks and convertible notebooks. Huawei, on the other hand, should stick to mobile. The company already released the new Honor 7; in Berlin we expect a new watch and more. Also on watches, Shara predicts an armload of Android Wear to land in Berlin.
The biggest event Wednesday is Sony’s press conference. As you’d expect from such a sprawling company, Sony should arrive in Berlin with a mess of products, from home audio to phones. That’s always been the case in the past and we we expect no change in 2015. That’s why we’ll live blog it for you.
CNET’s live blog of Sony’s press conference4:15 p.m. in Berlin (calculate to your time zone)
Capping off Wednesday is a Lenovo press conference. Expect to see laptops (naturally) and a few mobile devices. Motorola may even make an appearance. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen our Moto friends, so we’d certainly welcome the opportunity.
Thursday, September 3
The biggest player today is Samsung, which is holding two events. A morning press conference is likely to focus on appliances and the smart home. Rich and his team will be there to bring you the highlights.
Then in the evening, the company’s “World Tour” event should center on mobile. Unlike the previous few years, however, Samsung will not release a new Note device, as it already showed the Note 5 at a New York event earlier this month. Instead, Sammy could serve us pretty much anything, from the Gear S2 (it’s been a year since the company showed a new smartwatch) to possibly more phones.
Appliances and smart home also will be out in force Thursday with press conferences from Electrolux, Whirlpool, Philips, Sharp and Haier. And speaking of home (though the living room instead of the kitchen), LG’s event that afternoon should give us another look at its new LG EF9500 4K OLED TV.
Friday, September 4
Friday is the first day when the Berlin Messe is open to the public, so press events wind down significantly. A highlight is a keynote address from Microsoft corporate VP Nick Parker called “Windows 10 lights up new devices.” Will we see new such devices? We’ll have to wait and see.
IFA stands for, well…something in German.
Who to follow on Twitter at IFA
All our editors will be tweeting everything they see during the show: here’s who to follow to keep up with the latest.
Follow @CNET The best of everything at IFAFollow @rh_brown Rich Brown, Executive EditorFollow @AshleeEats Ashlee Clark-Thompson, Senior Associate EditorFollow @rycrist Ry Crist, Associate EditorFollow @kentgerman Kent German, Senior Managing EditorFollow @Batteryhq Andrew Hoyle, Senior EditorFollow @tylerlizenby Tyler Lizenby, Video ProducerFollow @rich_trenholm Rich Trenholm, Senior EditorFollow @sharatibken Shara Tibken, Senior WriterFollow @lukewestaway Luke Westaway, Senior Editor