As much of the tech industry waits for Apple to announce its annual September iPhone event (it's on for September 7), a few of us have one more thing to do: attend one of the strangest tech trade shows there is. Held at the close of summer in Berlin, IFA is sort of like CES -- you can find almost every type of gadget somewhere in its halls -- but a generous spread of new appliances and smart home tech also gives it a feel of a giant department store.
IFA, which stand for Internationale Funkausstellung (or "Berlin Radio Show"), is also an old event, dating all the way back to 1924 (radios are no longer a star attraction). It also has a mascot, the scarlet-haired Miss IFA, and unlike CES or Mobile World Congress, it's open to the public. But before Berlin's convention center opens to the masses on Friday, a CNET team will be on the ground in the German capital to bring you the top IFA news as it happens. Here's the scoop on what's to come this week.
Wednesday, August 31
Bookending the first press day are events from Asus, Acer and Lenovo. The companies haven't spilled many details on what we can expect, but Chomebooks and laptops, and a Motorola phone at Lenovo, wouldn't be bad guesses. Samsung also hosts its first of two IFA events in the evening with a press conference focused on mobile. Like last year, it won't announce a new Note phone -- the Galaxy Note 7 already debuted earlier this month -- but we are guessing that a new Gear S smartwatch will show up, just as it did last year.
New appliances should come during press events from Bosch, Miele and Panasonic. Look for wacky and cool innovations like the fridge with see-through doors we saw last year. IFA's a good show for appliance manufacturer's to take risks, as they can test ideas on smaller European markets before committing to producing them at a global scale. We're excited to see what they come up with.
Thursday. September 1
Thursday will be a bigger day for appliance news. Look for Haier in particular to make waves. The company recently acquired GE Appliances and is teasing "a promising new product category" for its event. Electrolux, Sharp, Philips and De Longhi will make announcements on Thursday, as well, so get that kitchen ready for shiny new appliances with some smarts.
Samsung has another event on Thursday, which should focus on everything not mobile. That will mean more appliances and maybe tech for your living room (last year, Samsung showed the world's first high-definition Blu-ray player). LG has an "open house", for, well, we're not really sure. Phones probably won't be an attraction as we expect the new V20 at a separate event in San Francisco on September 6. Instead, look for home entertainment devices and appliances. And if phones are your thing, we'll be at events for Huawei, ZTE and Sony. Listen for things that ring.
Friday, September 2
This will be our first day to prowl the show floor after it opens. See the above gallery for the sights from last year's show. As I told you, though, things can get a little weird. We'll also attend a final few events. Dyson, which just announced an air purifier that also heats and cools your room, may bring us even more pricey home gadgets. Alcatel's press conference should deliver phones, of course, and Fitbit ends the day with what should be new wearables.
How to follow CNET's IFA team
The CNET editors from London, New York and Louisville in Berlin will be tweeting everything they see during the show. To catch IFA's best, and maybe a few pictures of currywurst, here's who to follow.
Follow @CNET The best of everything at IFA
Follow @boliverbennett Brian Bennett, Senior Editor
Follow @AshleeEats Ashlee Clark-Thompson, Senior Associate Editor
Follow @katiecollins Katie Collins, Reporter
Follow @RogerWCheng Roger Cheng, Executive Editor
Follow @jongarnham Jonathan Garnham, Video Producer
Follow @GebAndrew Andrew Gebhart, Associate Editor
Follow @kentgerman Kent German, Senior Managing Editor
Follow @Batteryhq Andrew Hoyle, Senior Editor
Follow @onlymonroe Chris Monroe, Multimedia Producer
Follow @rich_trenholm Rich Trenholm, Senior Editor
Follow @lukewestaway Luke Westaway, Senior Editor
Grab your tech passport and travel to Berlin for the massive IFA consumer-electronics trade show.
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