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Press Release

August 29, 2019

IFA 2019: Dynamics through #Coinnovation

IFA again driving growth and innovation – exhibition areas booked up – IFA NEXT features Japan as its first IFA Global Innovation Partner – Global CEOs at IFA Keynotes – SHIFT Automotive shows future of mobility – IFA Global Markets a firmly established event

Berlin, 29 August 2019 – The world’s leading manufacturers and brands are coming to Berlin with a wealth of innovations and displaying pioneering new products. Voice-controlled, interconnected devices for the smart home, artificial intelligence in more and more products, TV sets featuring impressive picture quality, folding and flexible screens as well as new forms of mobility are only some of the key trends at IFA 2019.

IFA’s success is set to continue impressively this year once again. Both the show on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds with its brands and IFA Global Markets at Station Berlin, which caters to suppliers and component manufacturers and is reserved for trade visitors only, are fully booked. Featuring the global CEOs of Huawei, Qualcomm, Roku and Arcelik, who will give their reactions to the latest technological and political challenges, IFA will again confirm its unique international standing and leading role as a global venue and meeting place for the markets.

“This year, IFA 2019 will again reflect the leading trends in consumer electronics and home appliance products and solutions and related sectors. It previews products and technologies that will influence tomorrow’s lifestyle. It is also the meeting place for all the market players: industry and commerce, trade visitors and the media and naturally the wider public – those for whom ultimately these products are designed and made“, said Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the supervisory board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, the organizer of IFA.“ Kamp added: “With its concept of bringing everything to a single trade fair, IFA is the world’s leading platform of its kind.“

“Nowadays, more than ever before, innovations are the result of joint efforts. Innumerable people and many different companies help to create new products and technologies. That comes as no surprise, as it means a wide range of industries and perspectives are in play, increasing the potential for new ideas. In short, the greater this diversity, the more room there is for inspiration“, said Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin.

IFA NEXT with Japan leading the drive for more #Coinnovation
IFA NEXT is extending an invitation to explore the huge diversity and strength of Japan’s culture of innovation. Japan is the first partner country of IFA NEXT and officially the IFA Global Innovation Partner.

Artificial intelligence, the IoT and 5G, the new mobile telecommunications standard, are just some of the key topics at IFA NEXT, the innovation platform and global stage in Hall 26. Two centrally located stages in the hall – Innovation Engines – will amplify the communication of the product solutions, technologies and services on display. Thus, IFA NEXT will feature a fascinating mixture of startups, tech companies and research institutions.

IFA NEXT Conventions – Global stages for the industries’ big topics
At the IFA Keynotes influential and ambitious global CEOs will present strategies for a digital future with open, critical and controversial arguments.

Against the backdrop of political and economic discussions, it will be especially important to listen to a global player from both China and the US on the first day of the event.

Chengdon (Richard) Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, will explain why 5G could be the technology to significantly influence the IoT, driverless vehicles and smart devices (IFA Opening Keynote, 6 September, 10.30 a.m.). Cristian Amon, president of the US chip manufacturer Qualcomm, also believes that 5G will fundamentally drive technological progress and usher in a new era, “an age of major inventions“ (IFA Keynote, 6 September, 2 p.m.).

Anthony Wood, founder, chairman and CEO of Roku, Inc., is the most successful competitor of Netflix. Wood will talk about the visions and innovations that will continue to transform television viewing (IFA Keynote, 7 September, 10.30 a.m.).

Arçelik, which possesses 12 global brands including Beko and Grundig, two of Europe’s biggest names in home appliances, is a market leader in numerous countries. Hakan Bulgurlu, CEO of Arçelik, will outline his strategies and highlight the important role that his enterprise occupies around the world (IFA Keynote, 7 September, 2 p.m.).

The power of data is this year’s key topic at the IFA+ Summit – the conference of the future at IFA. On 8 and 9 September several international speakers will take a look at the future development of disruptive technologies in tomorrow’s digital world.

Shalev Lifshitz, a 16 year-old “AI Wunderkind“, is an AI researcher and one of the world’s youngest entrepreneurs. Shalev develops artificial neural networks designed to act like the human brain. He is also working on a computer vision system to expedite the diagnostic and drug discovery processes at the SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

Dr. Shermin Voshmgir is the founder of the BlockchainHub, an information hub and think tank based in Berlin which is driving the interdisciplinary development of blockchain technology and communicating and debating it around the world. According to Voshmgir, blockchains have the potential to solve today’s data security problems.

On 10 and 11 September at the SHIFT Automotive Mobility Convention, startups, tech giants, carmakers and urban planners will be gathering to discuss how the latest technologies and forward-looking mobility concepts will influence the way we live, work, drive and travel.

In her paper under the heading “Reimagining Urban Transport: Smart Vehicles in a Smart World“, Sarah-Jayne Williams, head of Smart Mobility at Ford Europe, will present Ford’s latest research findings and explain how data can help transform urban transport.

Jay Ward, creative director of the Pixar Animation franchise CARS, a self-declared car nerd and consultant to companies including Audi, BMW, Mini and Renault, will be one of the main speakers at this year’s SHIFT Automotive event. Ward will analyze how the trend towards driverless vehicles is influencing the narrative of the automobile, both in terms of the driving experience and entertainment for its passengers.

“Co-innovation, bringing together innovators from different industries, is an essential task of IFA. It is not about the presentation of the latest automobiles or just about the latest technological development - the benefit aspect and the concrete effects for the consumer are the focus here. SHIFT Automotive is entering its second year and shows that we not only want to pick up on developments, but also set targeted trends “, said Jens Heithecker, executive director of IFA.

IFA Global Markets – Europe’s largest sourcing platform
“Parallel with the display of brands on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, IFA Global Markets has long since established itself as Europe’s largest sourcing platform. Covering 20,000 square meters, this B2B marketplace is once again fully booked“, said Dirk Koslowski, director of IFA.

From 8 to 11 September at the marketplace that is IFA Global Markets, which is open exclusively to trade visitors and taking place at STATION Berlin near Potsdamer Platz, suppliers, component manufacturers and OEMs/ODMs will be meeting customers and partners from the consumer and home electronics markets.

Industry trends
This year, artificial intelligence (AI) will be setting the tone for exciting trends. Many types of devices using this technology are self-teaching and able to improve their performance in order to benefit the customer. This includes scaling images to a resolution of 8k, voice control and optimizing sound. IFA will also be exhibiting the first devices for 5G, the technology for ultra-fast, next-generation communication networks. Network operators will present their infrastructure plans, prospective applications and the medium-term expectations for 5G: an extremely high bandwidth and loss-free communications.

Other trends include flexible screens for TV sets, smartphones and tablets. In addition to numerous prototypes there will also be market-ready devices on show, for example a large TV set with a roll-up screen, and tablets that fold in half and then work as a smartphone.

The latest trend is 360-degree sound. Loudspeakers which acoustically cover the farthest corner of the room give the term surround sound a new meaning. It also includes 3D sound formats for headphones.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the march in home appliances too – where it can select the right washing machine program, for example. Thus, along with the general trend towards interconnectedness, we are witnessing ever smarter, more versatile and higher-performance products.

Sustainability, energy efficiency and saving resources continue to be important criteria for users. That is where the latest home appliances are setting new standards for saving as much electricity, water and detergents as possible.

Another important aspect is health. People have a keen interest in cooking healthy meals, a healthy diet, fitness, their well-being and breathing clean air. Technologically assisted physical exercise with the aid of fitness trackers worn on the body are yet another aspect.

First half figures for the German market slightly down on last year
According to the Home Electronics Market Index (HEMIX), at minus 1.4 per cent, first half figures for home electronics products were slightly down on last year. From January to June 2019 overall sales reached 19.2 billion euros.

With a turnover of 12.3 billion euros, the consumer electronics sector reported a year-on-year decline of 4.1 per cent in the first half of 2019. Consumer electronics (-7.1 per cent, approx. 3.9 bi. euros) and privately used telecommunications devices (-4.1 per cent, almost 5.4 bi. euros) each recorded a drop in sales. Only the number of privately used IT products (+0.3 per cent, approx. 3 bi. euros) was able to halt the downturn in the first quarter of 2019.

Both the electrical home appliance markets achieved positive results again in the first half of 2019. Major appliances recorded a sales increase of 1.7 per cent, reaching 4.3 billion euros, while sales of small home appliances rose by 7.1 per cent, a total of 2.6 billion euros.

This year, IFA will again provide an impetus for both the domestic and global markets. In 2019 overall, the market for home electronics products is expected to remain stable and on a par with last year.

Hans-Joachim Kamp: “Without doubt, the discussions surrounding ongoing global trade conflicts, political unrest and Brexit are influencing consumer behavior as regards new purchases. Low interest rates are continuing to ensure that consumers are not putting their money in the bank so that, coupled with the impetus provided by IFA, we are optimistic about the second half of the year.


Nicole von der Ropp
IFA Global Communication

Messe Berlin GmbH
Emanuel Höger
Senior Vice President
Corporate Communication
Messe Berlin Group