About Futuresource Consulting

Futuresource Consulting, the specialist research and consulting company, is delighted to be the official knowledge partner for CEATEC. The company can trace its roots back to the 1980s and provides market insights into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, optical manufacturing, storage media, professional IT and education technology.
With more than 70 full-time employees providing in-depth analysis and forecasts across consumer and professional electronics categories, Futuresource is able to advise on market, competitive and technological developments, providing clients with access to the information that helps produce the best possible results.


Highlights from IFA

Despite doubts about the world economy, the IFA Consumer Electronics Show in Berlin had a record number of visitors this year, at 238,000. Trade attendees were up 12% on previous years, exceeding 132,000, and nearly 40% of trade attendees came from outside Germany. It is estimated that more than 3.7bn Euros of business was generated at IFA, demonstrating that the consumer electronics market is alive and well, and paving the way for a successful CEATEC event in October.

Most new products on display at IFA were the result of announcements at the CES show earlier in the year, with smart and connected TV the key theme running through IFA, and all the TV vendors emphasising their breadth of content deals and offerings. Being a European show, a number of vendors were focusing on the diverse range of services they have on offer to satisfy local demand in the individual European countries.

Major European TV vendors LG, Philips and Sharp announced a partnership to create a new standard in TV apps using common technology requirements to allow a uniformed platform based on open standards such as HTML5, CE-HTML and HbbTV. Whether this initiative will be universally adopted is doubtful, as other TV giants have their own proprietary offerings.

3DTV was still being promoted, but clearly took second place to the smart/connected TV theme, though Toshiba grabbed headlines by showing its glassless 55 inch TV, with many attending the show now waiting in anticipation for the CEATEC show for possibly more announcements on the large screen glassless 3D front.

Arguably the most impressive TV highlight was Sharp's prototype 8k4k screen which met with gasps of excitement from hardened trade and press attendees as well as the general public attending the show.

Connectivity and sharing of content across devices was evident on most of the major CE vendors' stands. The proliferation of DLNA-enabled devices is clearly gaining momentum both for home and portable/mobile products. Futuresource estimates 83% of European TV shipments will be DLNA enabled by 2015. Integrated Wifi in TVs and other home devices such as Blu-ray players is clearly growing and will be an important enabler to encourage consumers to actively stream content from smart or connected CE devices, with some CE manufacturers already experiencing connection rates on TVs in Europe of up to 50%.

In the audio halls, airplay-enabled audio devices were in abundance from Sony, Philips, Loewe, Altec Lansing and many others.

Tablets, the hot product of the moment, were ever present, even on the stands of vendors that do not have a tablet in their range. Promotion of the tablet as a remote control device, in addition to an important multimedia entertainment device for sourcing and viewing content, was a common theme throughout the show.

Sony launched its first foray into this space with two tablets, the s 9.4" screen and foldable p series with two 5.5" touch screens, in addition to Samsung, Toshiba, Lenovo and many others showing their latest devices. Controversy surrounded the event when Samsung had to remove their 10.1 inch and 7.7 inch devices from their stand because of Apple's court injunction. Competition continues to grow from various industry sectors, particularly low end no name brands who were present at the show. Futuresource believes the total European tablet market will reach 14m units this year. Apple, who didn't exhibit at the show, is expected to have 65% share by year end.

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