What to Expect from IFA 2022

Following a hugely scaled back edition in 2020 and a cancelled event last year, IFA is back in full force for 2022 — and CCS Insight is sending a team of delegates to Berlin to cover every inch of the show floor.

IFA is usually a melting pot of consumer technology, and has a strong line-up this year. We’re expecting to hear from names such as Honor, Huawei, Qualcomm, Samsung and TCL as they demonstrate their latest and greatest tech ahead of the hugely important holiday season. But competition for available spending in this period is likely to be intensified as the macroeconomic climate dents consumer confidence; this will almost certainly be a major topic of discussion.

The show is a major platform for announcements in home entertainment and we expect heavy focus on this as the FIFA World Cup 2022 takes place in November and December. World Cup fever typically gives TV sales a handy boost, and the tournament being so near to the holiday season may be a blessing for manufacturers. We expect TCL to lead the charge among Chinese brands, with several others also showing off their audiovisual products.

We’ll be tracking many other topics familiar to our readers. Smartphones will play an important role, with Honor expected to use IFA as a launch pad for major European expansion; the company is hosting a keynote presentation on 2 September to present its latest innovations. HMD Global, which makes Nokia phones, has confirmed its presence, and we expect it to unveil new smartphones. Huawei will also hold a keynote session, where it’s expected to discuss its growing breadth of devices and services.

Samsung will once again have a huge presence at IFA. Having just unveiled the latest Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip devices at its Galaxy Unpacked event (clients can read more about that here), we expect these devices to be prominently displayed. But we believe the company’s focus will mainly be on its wider suite of connected devices — including home appliances — and articulating the strength of its SmartThings home automation platform.

Smart homes are an area that should prove interesting, as the topic is often covered throughout the trade show. Market leader Ring will be present, as will Arlo, Philips Hue, Tado and Yale. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on some of the peripheral announcements in this area, particularly from domestic appliance manufacturers Beko, Bosch and Miele, which are seeking to add value to their products with connected features.

Wearables could be another busy segment. TCL indicated that it’ll show off some smart wearables as part of its exhibition. Garmin has launched multiple products at IFA in the past; it is expected to be at the show, but as its flagship ranges have already been updated this year a high-profile reveal appears uncertain. Fitbit has just launched a raft of new smartwatches and a fitness band to enhance its wearables line-up, so we’ll be stopping by its stand. Audio brand Jabra has confirmed it will have a new offering to unveil at the event, and Honor has also hinted toward wearables announcements in its IFA promotional material.

We’re also looking forward to an update in the semiconductor market from Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon, who’s presenting the show’s opening keynote session. At a curtain raiser broadcast he confirmed plans to talk about 5G, artificial intelligence and the “intelligent edge”, which have become central to the chipmaker’s overall business strategy. Following its recent announcement of a deepened strategic partnership with Samsung, the firm will be keen to keep the good news coming.

It’s also worth noting that foldable and flexible display technology could be present throughout the show. Asus has already confirmed its Zenbook 17 Fold OLED laptop, a potential early disruptor in this segment, and plans to reveal more about the product at IFA. Samsung, Oppo and Huawei have taken the lead in launching commercial foldable smartphones, but other players have made no secret of their ambitions in this space and we’ll be following updates at the event carefully.

Finally, although we don’t expect much in the way of virtual or augmented reality announcements, it would be no surprise to see some headsets on the show floor — especially if providers choose to exploit football frenzy by demonstrating immersive sports experiences.

So, it’s shaping up to be a busy week in Berlin. If you’re looking to get the latest information from the show floor, make sure to follow the CCS Insight team on Twitter:

Clients will receive an Insight Report summarizing the key news and announcements after the event. To find out more about that, please get in touch.