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News ABOUT gfu In 1973,

News ABOUT gfu In 1973, 11 companies from the German consumer-electronics industry founded an Association of Electronics Industry Development. In response to the expanding business activities of its members, the association’s name was changed in 1986 to Association of Electronics and Communications Industry Development known as gfu in Germany, with its registered office in Frankfurt/Main. IFA iZONE AND IFA eLIBRARY Following the successful debut last year of the IFA iZone and IFA eLibrary, the two areas have been expanded for IFA 2011. The market impact of iPad and iPhone products and the numerous applications for this family of devices is increasing all time. As a result, IFA iZone will no doubt be a major attraction for both trade visitors and the general public. Meanwhile, the ebook and tablet PC world - from device manufacturers to media companies to publishers - will be represented at the IFA eLibrary. “Following the outstanding success of these two special zones in 2010, we are taking the concept a stage further at IFA 2011, in order to reflect these dynamic sectors’ pace of innovation and growth.” says Jens Heithecker, Director of IFA. Hot Topics Du Jour Connectivity and mobility top agenda at IFA 2011 2010 IFA Just what trends are driving and shaping the consumer electronics industry as we power towards IFA 2011? Few have a better industrywide perspective than Roland Stehle, Press Officer of IFA organising association gfu… The theme of flat TVs is something that is still very much ongoing, because not every home has one, and whether to go with HD or 3D is still a big issue for many consumers. There is also increasing convergence between the Internet and TV sets, with increasing amounts of content migrating to the TV from the web, rather than from the traditional broadcast connection. Home connectivity - where almost every device in the house is connected to the web - is another big trend of the moment. We are also seeing a booming market for smartphones and tablet PCs, driven by the huge demand for mobile access to media. For me, these will be the big topics here in Berlin this year. The market in general and the TV market in particular have been through a hard time. How are companies r e s p onding t o t h e challenging climate? Most companies expected the first half of the year to be flat, because there were no big events, such as a World Cup or an Olympic Games - or even something more local, like the start of HD broadcasting by the major broadcasters in Germany. B u t t h e re i s s o m e expectation that the third and fourth quarters will be more dynamic. Most companies were aware that 2011 would be like this, and many of them are looking to IFA to re-invigorate their market. Interview by Richard Barnes How do you see the tablet market evolving in Europe? And what effect are tablets having on laptop sales? I believe that tablets will mainly be an addition to laptops - a device that complements your laptop rather than replaces it, and is easy to use when you are on the move. Mobile devices that can take content from the TV, or even remotely control it, are also very much a coming trend. We have seen a couple of major take-overs this year, with Chinese and Taiwanese companies buying several big European manufacturers. How is this going to affect the balance of power in Europe? I don’t think it will have any real effect on the market because, in fact, the Asian companies that have acquired these European brands have the same broad intentions as the companies “In Europe, we are seeing a return to growth” Roland M. Stehle Press Officer of IFA organising association gfu that they acquired. We don’t see this change of ownership as having any discernible effect as far as the end-user is concerned. How do you think Japanese companies are recovering from the effects of the earthquake? I think they are recovering extremely quickly. I see a lot of evidence that people want to put this behind them and move forward with their lives and businesses. The research organisation G F K i s p r e d i c t i n g relatively strong market growth in Europe. What is your view? In Germany, we expect around a 2%-plus growth this year. In the rest of Europe, we are also seeing a return to growth after a period during which the market remained flat. IFA International • Monday 29 th August 2011 7

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