IFA 2015: What to expect from Samsung, Sony, LG and Microsoft this year
Since it began over 90 years ago, IFA has grown to become the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition. While it was once home to some of the biggest technological reveals, such as the first showing of the cathode-ray tube in 1931, IFA has now become the only place to look for next year’s must-have smartphones, laptops, smartwatches and more. Taking place from 4 to 9 September in Berlin, we can expect to see Microsoft, Samsung, Sony and many others showing off their hottest consumer gadgets.
Here’s the latest rumours on what we can expect to see from Berlin’s packed exhibition halls.
IFA what to expect: Microsoft
Microsoft spent the first half of this year building up to the launch of Windows 10, so with that now out of the way, it’s sure to be showing off a range of devices running its shiny new operating system.
With Xbox One Insiders receiving Windows 10 in September, we’re almost certain Microsoft will demonstrate what the update can do for its home console. It’s also looking very likely that it will show off its two new Lumia flagship phones, the 950 and 950 XL. Why? IFA is a perfect venue for Microsoft to unveil its first high-end Windows 10 mobile devices since it dropped Nokia.
Rumours also suggest that production on the Surface Pro 4 is about to step up; Microsoft has placed orders for components with an October launch in mind. However, an IFA appearance is incredibly optimistic. Microsoft may want to give its flagship Windows 10 hybrid its own separate event, and IFA could just be a little bit too crowded.
IFA what to expect: Samsung
Samsung’s presence at IFA is bound to be big. Expect a whole range of new Ultra HD TVs – some curved, some not – alongside a host of Blu-ray players and speakers.
We already know all about the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5, as well as its new Galaxy Tab S2 tablets, but IFA will be the first opportunity for the general public to get hands-on with the device.
Expect Samsung to also be showing off its mobile-payments service Samsung Pay, demonstrating it not just on its Pay-enabled smartphones and tablets, but also on its Pay-enabled TVs.
It’s also possible Samsung will unveil the Gear S2, its new round-faced smartwatch. Rumours have been floating around about a new smartwatch from Samsung, and during its S6 Edge+ launch event in New York, the Korean manufacturer teased the Gear S2 with a quick trailer stating “coming soon”. According to Pocket-Lint, Samsung has confirmed it will unveil the Gear S2 on 3 September, right at the start of IFA.
IFA what to expect: Sony
Sony has been in a spot of bother lately in regards to its consumer devices. Looking at Sony’s latest financial report, it’s clear that its PlayStation business is the only consumer division carrying the company forward. So we can expect Sony to put the PS4 and its upcoming Project Morpheus virtual-reality headset front and centre at this year’s IFA.
With its Xperia division losing money, and having already released the marginally improved Xperia Z3+ and impressive Xperia Z4 Tablet, there isn’t an awful lot for Sony to show off this year. Some sites have speculated that Sony will unveil a Xperia Z5 (as in Japan the Z3+ is the Z4), but Sony’s new strategy seems to be to release one new handset per year, rather than cannibalising its own market by releasing two. However, we may still see an Xperia Z3+ Compact; Sony hasn’t yet updated 2014’s petite and powerful Xperia Z3 Compact.
Earlier this year Sony let slip that it’s working on a follow-up to the Sony SmartBand, this time equipped with a heart-rate monitor. The leak appeared back in June, but Sony is yet to show it off, so perhaps its first public appearance will come in Berlin.
In Sony’s other consumer-electronics departments, it goes almost without saying that it will be displaying its range of 4K Bravia TVs. Interestingly, the Japanese electronics manufacturer hasn’t jumped on the curved TV bandwagon just yet, so perhaps IFA could yield one.
IFA what to expect: LG
Aside from that, LG’s IFA will largely revolve around its display technologies. LG’s 4 September keynote is being helmed by CEO and president of LG Display, Sang-Beom Han, indicating that screens are LG’s focus this year. We’ve been promised a glimpse of “the future of TV”, and if LG’s millimetre-thick “wallpaper” display is anything to go by, we could be in for something really interesting.
IFA what to expect: Motorola
Like many other smartphone manufacturers, Motorola has already played its mobile hand this year by unveiling a new Moto G, Moto X Play and Moto X Style. IFA could therefore be a small event for the Lenovo company.
If we’re being optimistic, though, we’re hoping to see a follow-up to the first truly desirable Android Wear smartwatch, the Moto 360.
IFA what to expect: Huawei
As the P8 came out earlier this year, it looks likely that a follow-up to the Ascend Mate will be the focus of Huawei’s IFA presentation this year. This fire was fuelled all the more when invites went out depicting a 3D pinboard “S”, leading many to believe Huawei is working on a Mate 7S instead of the Mate 8 – which has terrible assonance for a phone name.
Huawei is also working on a new Nexus device, a source confirmed to IBTimes. While it’s not a new Nexus 5, it’s possible we could see the Chinese manufacturer unveil Google’s other new Nexus device at IFA despite a lack of Google at the event.
IFA what to expect: HTC
As the HTC One M9 launched earlier this year, and the larger HTC One M9+ is already out in Europe, the Chinese manufacturer isn’t likely to have a lot to show off. So all eyes are now focused on the first SteamVR headset, the HTC Vive.
HTC announced Vive’s presence at IFA as part of its world tour, and this will be the second time the public has been able to get hands-on with one in Europe. It’s unlikely we’ll hear anything more about the device, but we may be given a glimpse at the final Vive controllers.
IFA what to expect: Acer
Acer has a press conference booked this year, but hasn’t clued anyone in on what it could be showing off. Expect to see new laptops, hybrids and PCs; most new smartphones were shown off earlier this year at MWC.
If we were to hazard a guess, we’d say that Acer is planning to unveil a host of new Windows 10 devices. Perhaps we might even see its first Windows 10 Mobile device.
IFA what to expect: Asus
Asus has been actively updating its products recently, and so IFA should see more of that rather than a big new device reveal. Hopefully we’ll see a follow up to the ZenFone, and perhaps a new version of its impressive Transformer Book line of hybrids.
IFA what to expect: virtual reality
Almost every virtual-reality (VR) device we know about will be released in 2016, so VR is likely have a huge presence at this year’s IFA. However, other than the presence of HTC’s Vive and the likelihood that Sony will put its Project Morpheus PS4 headset on show, most of the big guns appear to be MIA.
Neither Facebook nor Oculus VR are exhibiting, meaning we won’t get a better look at the final Rift headset ahead of its consumer release. StarVR developer Starbreeze Studios and its VR department InfinitiEye are also skipping IFA, dashing all hopes of seeing the incredible 5K headset in action.
However, computer-peripheral manufacturer Razer is in attendance this year, so there’s a chance it could bring along its open-source VR project, OSVR. Alongside that, Carl Zeiss AG is showing off its Zeiss VR One headset for mobiles; small French exhibitor Homido VR has its smartphone head-mounted display on show; and a German tech company is showing off its Omnicam 360-degree video-recording capabilities for creating VR environments from video or photography.
IFA what to expect: Wearables
The IFA show floor is certain to be swimming with wearables this year. Aside from seeing Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch, we may also see Sony’s SmartBand 2 and Motorola’s successor to the Moto 360.