BERLIN--The global gadget tour touches down this week here in the German capital, having wound its way through Las Vegas and Taipei, and before it heads off to Tokyo.
IFA, which stands for Internationale Funkausstellung, kicks off Wednesday afternoon. In terms of attendance, IFA Berlin is the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world. Like its American counterpart, the Consumer Electronics Show held every January in Las Vegas, it's a place for names large and small in consumer electronics to roll out their latest gizmos so the public, journalists, analysts, and retailers can eye them up close.
For an idea of just how big it is, IFA Berlin in 2008 took up 1.3 million square feet of exhibit space, and brought 215,000 visitors through the doors of the Berlin Messe to see more than 1,200 exhibitors. CES this year had a lower-than-expected attendance of 110,000, 1.7 million square feet of exhibitor space, and 2,700 exhibitors.
IFA brings out the big names you'd expect like Samsung, Sony, LG, Nokia, Acer, Asus, and more, plus hundreds of smaller companies that make computers and gadgets just for the European market. We'll try to highlight the notable stuff that will be available in North America as well.
IFA has been around in some form since 1926, and has an interesting, if dark footnote.… Read more