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Preview Edition - IFA International

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News Industry Voice

News Industry Voice Changing consumer habits create new forms of demand, driving new market segments As IFA, the world’s premier consumer lifestyle show,is just around the corner, how is industry sentiment, and what are the key market drivers? We put the question to Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the supervisory board of gfu – the German industry association that organises this incredible showcase in Berlin. IFA is the most important and significant trade fair for consumer electronics and home appliances. Expectations are accordingly high, particularly considering the current market situation. With a host of innovations, we want to attempt together to provide powerful momentum for the important Christmas business, in order to achieve a positive final result for the year 2014. The innovations already shown in advance promise an IFA that is exciting and interesting as always. How did the FIFA World Cup in Brazil affect TV sales this year? The World Cup accounted for increased sales against the previous year in many countries. It remains to be seen whether these sales impact upon the full year, or whether these were only “brought forward”; it is clear that only innovative products provide growth, because that cannot come from sporting events. Which features are the biggest drivers for TV sales as we arrive at the key selling time of the year? Large screens, Ultra HD resolution for stunning The World Cup accounted for increased TV sales against the previous year in many countries image clarity and Smart TVs with powerful operating systems are the features in the foreground of the TV area. Curved TV will also gain in importance. According to your statistics, awareness levels among the buying public about Smart TV and online services vary dramatically from country to country. Please tell us more about this 42% of Germans know exactly what Smart TV means (the year before the term was known only to 24%) and now 44% are at least familiar with the term. The term is only unknown to 15% (previous year 34%). With these values, there are differences within Europe and in the UK, for example, this figure is significantly higher at 56%. How should retailers be approaching the topic of Smart TV with potential buyers? Here it is important to demonstrate the benefits live at retail outlets in order to explain the added value, such as time-shifted television, access to online content and also the possibility of using the TV to communicate with others, for example via Skype. What is changing in the way people understand and use Smart TV today? Here, too, there are results of our recent study for Germany: 44% of Germans say they are increasingly not watching programmes at the specified broadcast times. 40% of Germans also say: “I use the internet more and more often in parallel to TV viewing.” 25% of Germans also say: “I am more willing today than in the past to pay for certain content.” Viewers are more open-minded to the possibilities. What are your thoughts on UHD TV? UHD TV has already achieved a significant portion this year with the devices sold. Here it is like the introduction of HDTV, in that the higher image quality will convince consumers. Curved TV? Curved TVs are a great addition to the product range, but each customer must however decide upon the advantages for themselves. OLED? With OLED, the situation is exciting in terms of which manufacturer offers market-oriented quantities and which prices consumers are willing to pay. In more general terms, what will be the most interesting categories to look for at IFA 2014? Apart from the topics already mentioned within the TV sector; connectivity Hans-Joachim Kamp Chairman of the supervisory board of gfu in all forms, wearables for a whole universe of new applications, 3D printers with amazing talents and audio streaming over many device types are the trends in consumer electronics. Energy-efficiency and sustainability are still the determining issues in household appliances and on top of that, there is also versatility, effectiveness, sustainability and of course stylish design and smart functionality. Major and small domestic appliances facilitate housework and make it more convenient to deal with; they enrich life and make it more comfortable and more pleasant. IFA International • Monday 1 st September 2014 7

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