Samsung plans to show best ware at IFA fair
DUBROVNIK, Croatia ― Samsung Electronics is expected to dominate the August trade fair in Berlin, Germany, by introducing its latest products and new strategies, according to a senior executive from the IFA trade show organizers.
Speaking at the IFA Global Press Conference here, Jens Heithecker, global executive director from Messe Berlin Group, said Samsung Electronics will have a big 65,000-square-meter space to exhibit its goods including advanced organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions.
The IFA is the biggest technology show in Europe, comparable to the annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the U.S. desert city of Las Vegas,.
``The time slot at the IFA is the best we can have. The big retail market is the end of the season. We will have more Korean firms but no area expansion. They already have the largest display space. It’s bigger than some shows itself,’’ said Heithecker, who also serves as IFA director.
Samsung and LG Electronics are the show’s ``cash cows’’ as they usually exhibit their technology-focused products in an attempt to attract European retailers and customers.
This year, Samsung Electronics will display an design-improved OLED TV, possibly with a 55-inch screen size, while Samsung’s biggest cross-town rival LG Electronics is also preparing to introduce a 55-inch set using the cheaper ``White OLED’’ technology.
``Samsung is doing excellent and it is the most successful company in the world next to Apple. Apple is not active in televisions. We’re happy that Samsung is in our show. Samsung is clear and fast,’’ said Heithecker.
``Every Korean company who wants to follow this success need to develop marketing strategies and networks.’’
Three-dimensional televisions are losing popularity, while Internet-enabled sets are seeing rising momentum amid the popularity of connected digital gadgets such as smartphones and tablets, according to the executive.
``We have to think about what is the main reason for consumers to buy TVs. 3D is more or less software. What I mean by that is 3D is an important feature that TV has to have but not the point of sale,’’ Heithecker said, adding consumers aren’t sure what will be the technology standard for 3D sets.
This may be a blow for LG Electronics, which has been boosting its spending on promotions for its in-house film-based 3D technolgy. LG claims that it has been narrowing the market gap with Samsung in the fight for 3D TV as its film-based technology is attractive to other major firms such as Sony, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba.
``We will see OLED TVs at the IFA. But they are highly priced at around $1,000 per unit. There will be mass marketing in a couple of years. It’s the best standard you will get now,’’ he said.
Apple and search giant Google have confirmed that they won’t appear at this year’s IFA fair. ``Apple is a no show. Google is not a usual exhibitor. They use it for public relations only. Google is not an exhibitor but a partner of IFA. I would be surprised if Google has a regular booth,’’ he said.
Although Chinese companies are desperate to make a splash with big booths, the executive said they have virtually failed to expand their presence at the IFA.
``They’re trying to bring better products to the market but don’t have strong brands. There are no big names at the moment in terms of brands,’’ Heithecker said.
On the ongoing patent battle between Samsung and Apple, the executive expects the two companies will eventually strike a cross-licensing deal, though Samsung Electronics is officially saying that ``there will be no compromise with Apple.’’
``To compete for licenses doesn’t make sense in the industry. For MP3 players, there used to be cross-licensing deals for all companies. That makes sense in this connected world.’’