(Pocket-lint) - IFA Berlin is one of the most significant spots on the calendar for product launches and it had a big change in 2020, shifting to an invite-only event on a smaller scale, backed with a strong virtual presence for many who tuned in. IFA 2021 has been officially cancelled, but a number of brands are still launching devices at the time when IFA 2021 would have taken place.
IFA, or Internationale Funkausstellung, is Europe's biggest tech show. Held in Berlin over the first few days of September, it's the place where big brands like Samsung, LG, Sony and Philips often showcase the latest consumer devices and appliances.
The show started in 1924 as a radio convention. Unlike many such shows, IFA is open to the public, meaning anyone can go and marvel at the latest and greatest technology. In 2021, it's expected that there will be a full return to the halls of Messe Berlin.
What's happening with IFA 2021?
- 3-7 September 2021 Cancelled
Messe Berlin and the GFU joinly announced that IFA 2021 will not be taking place as a physical event. After a small event in 2020, the organisers have decided that there's too much uncertainty for the physical event to go ahead in 2021.
"We did not take this decision lightly. IFA Berlin is arguably the most important event of the year for brands and retailers alike," said Martin Ecknig, the CEO of Messe Berlin.
"IFA Berlin connects our industry with trade visitors, media and real consumers like no other event. However, the health and safety of everybody has to be absolutely paramount. The efforts to contain this pandemic - from the roll-out of vaccination programs to the resumption of international travel - did not happen at the pace we had hoped for. Given these developments, this difficult and disappointing decision was inevitable."
That means you can clear your calendars, but flip to 2022, with the event confirmed for 2-6 September 2022.
The important launches of IFA 2021
Although IFA 2021 isn't technically taking place, for many brands this is an important launch window, getting products to market before Christmas. Some brands are still hosting events which they are referring to as "IFA", even though the confernence isn't taking place.
To keep a track of these events and to keep the timeline running towards 2022, here's a roundup of launches we're expecting and products that appeared, in the IFA launch window.
Asus had an event on 2 September titled Create the Uncreated. This was a chance for Asus to unveil a range of new devices, including a new updated ProArt Studiobook with a physical dial, allowing you to manipulate creative work in applications like Adobe, for more fine control. With powerful hardware options, the ProArt models are aimed at creative pros.
For those who don't need that sort of power, there's the Vivobook Pro, adding a powerful option with the option for OLED displays at more affordable prices. Both new laptop ranges will be coming to market late 2021 through early 2022.
Bose has announced the QC45. Having changed direction in recent years with the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, it's now back with it's hugely popular QuietComfort model and a new version - that looks basically the same as the previous generation. The new model promises better noise cancellation, better voice isolation and ambient sound offerings.
Jabra has announced a refresh to its true wireless headphones, including a new flagship offering, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro. The new crop of headphones are more compact, while also promising better voice isolation for crystal clear calls. For the more sporty, there's the Elite 7 Active with a ShakeGrip coating to make sure they stay secure in your ear, while the budget offering - the Elite 3 - sees Jabra entering a new, more affordable, category of headphones - and could prove to be really popular.
JBL often has a range of updates at IFA and in 2021, despite there being no IFA, the company made a range of product updates. That includes a trio of true wireless headphones to suit a range of different use cases. In addition there's a new gaming headset, the Quantum 350.
JBL has also updated one of its popular speaker lines, with the JBL Flip 6. The new speaker has a new internal configuration which should make it sound better, while it offers better environmental protection too.
- 8 September 2021, Lenovo Tech World
Lenovo often has a lot to show off, spanning Moto phones and Lenovo hardware - and IFA is usually a major tech venue. Lenovo will be hosting Lenovo Tech World on 8 September, where we're expecting to hear a lot more about the company's plans.
Signify has announced a new Philips A series LED bulb, which could last for up to 50 years. It is more energy efficient and offers greater durability, so should be better for the environment.
We're also expecting an expansion of the Hue system to be announced.
Philips TV/TP Vision
Philips, or rather TP Vision, often has a range of products to announce at IFA. Instead, the company livestreamed the launch of several new products, including new flagship OLED televisions. The Philips OLED+ 986 and 936 offer four-sided Ambilight, HDR10+ Adaptive and a custom P5 AI picture processing engine, driving in the 4K display. The 986 has a Bowers & Wilkins soundbar as part of the package, while the 936 does not.
Philips also announced the Fidelio T1 TWS headphones, a new true wireless set that promises enhanced sound performance.