Personally, we’d be pretty miserable without television, but that’s some of what market research company GfK had to share at the annual IFA GPC conference that took place in Lisbon, Portugal this past weekend. It was only a couple of days ago that Intel announced that they will no longer be having their annual IDF conferences. Yet at a time when so many technology conferences have shut their doors or are simply shrinking in size, IFA, Europe’s biggest consumer electronics conference is actually growing. Last year IFA expanded into Asia with CE China. This year they are going to have more available space for brands, and they are expecting nearly a quarter of a million attendees. Also new to the show in 2017 is IFA NEXT which embraces startups, so that they too can show off their wares at this massive international trade show.
IFA announced these new additions to the show at their 2017 Global Press Conference. The Global Press Conference brings together over 300 tech journalists representing over 55 countries to network and learn about the latest CE trends and data – and especially what’s coming. So what can we expect from 2017 and beyond?
Brands like Sennheiser, Philips, Samsung, and Porsche Design presented some of their latest innovations at the press conference. Philips talked about their continued focus on building a health ecosystem to accommodate a growing aging population, and that they committed to using technology to make healthcare personal.
Samsung showed off their stunning “The Frame TVs” which will begin to go on sale in May in Europe for €2199. The TVs are designed to blend in to a room by resembling a true traditional photo frame that can be customized with changeable custom bezels. For the eleventh, year in a row, Samsung continues to be the number one global manufacturer of TVs. That’s great for Samsung since according to GfK, TV remains the biggest segment of the CE market and It is expected to continue to grow until 2020.
“I won’t dwell further on picture quality because we believe that with the launch of QLED the discussion about picture quality will become obsolete.”
Michael Zoller, Vice President, Head of Visual Display Europe at Samsung actually went as far as to say that “I won’t dwell further on picture quality because we believe that with the launch of QLED the discussion about picture quality will become obsolete.” That’s not to say that TV innovation isn’t still a big deal. To that effect, GfK expects a global market share of nearly 3 quarters by 2020 for smart TVs. And despite a trend in smaller living spaces, TV sizes are getting bigger globally.
But the TV stat that came as the biggest surprise is that TV consumption has no impact on the happiness of a nation. Yet, on a global average people watch more than 3 hours per day. That said, in Asian homes (China, Japan, etc), people are actually watching less TV and instead are watching more streaming content on tablets and laptops.
On the audio front, close to 30 million headphones, and 13 million Bluetooth speakers were sold in Europe in 2017. Sennheiser, a top headphone and audio manufacturer was on hand to talked about their new AMBEO technology. Sennheiser says that true immersion means you can close your eyes and feel like you’re there. AMBEO tech from Sennheiser offers just that with 360 degree immersive audio. “It’s the new benchmark in 3D audio… The future of audio is not in front, but all around us.” Their first headset with AMBEO tech is the AMBEO Smart Surround earbuds, and they are able to both record and playback 3D audio.
Some other growing segments in the CE industry include smart appliances. As a matter of fact, last year the market of smart appliances doubled. As always, IFA will have a massive amount of dedicated space where brands can show off their latest appliances, many of which are becoming smart connected appliances. IFA will take place September 1st through the 6th in Berlin with nearly 6000+ visiting journalists, and over 1000 publications reaching over 1.2 billion ppl worldwide. Keep an eye out for our coverage of IFA 2017 starting in late August.