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From smartphones to appliances, Europe's huge tech show has it all

The tech industry comes to Berlin this week to catch the latest gadgets of all types from Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, LG and more.

IFA is a trade show of big displays, big sights and big tech. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

September always marks the busiest season in the gadget universe. But before the pre-holiday rush and next week's Apple event, the industry turns its attention to Berlin for one of the biggest tech trade shows in Europe. Take CES and Mobile World Congress, add a healthy dose of appliances, shake vigorously and you wind up with IFA. Also called Internationale Funkausstellung (or "Berlin Radio Show"), IFA has been happening in some form since 1924. Then it was all radios, but over the years it grew to include gadgets of all types (an early form of TV was shown in 1931) plus a heavy emphasis on appliance and smart home tech. And it's unique among tech trade shows in that members of the public can pay a few euros to visit the show and see all the new tech for themselves.

Given the expansive and hard-to-pin-down nature of IFA, we're sending a large and diverse team to Germany's capital to bring you the highlights. Joining me and CNET's crew from London are news reporter Shara Tibken from San Francisco, our smart-home team from Louisville, Kentucky, led by Rich Brown and CNET TV's Mark Licea from New York.

We'll be working through the week to bring you the best of IFA in words, photos and video. Here's how the show will play out.

Wednesday, September 2

The first of two official press days, Wednesday holds a number of press conferences mostly focusing on mobile and computing news. Kicking off in the morning is Intel, which (of course) will likely talk chips. Following close behind are events from Acer, Asus and Huawei. If history tells us anything, Acer should use IFA to launch new Chromebooks and convertible notebooks. Huawei, on the other hand, should stick to mobile. The company already released the new Honor 7 ; in Berlin we expect a new watch and more. Also on watches, Shara predicts an armload of Android Wear to land in Berlin.

The biggest event Wednesday is Sony's press conference. As you'd expect from such a sprawling company, Sony should arrive in Berlin with a mess of products, from home audio to phones (like maybe an Xperia Z5?). That's always been the case in the past and we we expect no change in 2015. That's why we'll live blog it for you.

CNET's live blog of Sony's press conference
4:15 p.m. in Berlin (calculate to your time zone)

Capping off Wednesday is a Lenovo press conference. Expect to see laptops (naturally) and a few mobile devices. Motorola may even make an appearance. It's been a long time since we've seen our Moto friends, so we'd certainly welcome the opportunity.

Thursday, September 3

The biggest player today is Samsung, which is holding two events. A morning press conference is likely to focus on appliances and the smart home. Rich and his team will be there to bring you the highlights.

Then in the evening, the company's "World Tour" event should center on mobile. Unlike the previous few years, however, Samsung will not release a new Note device, as it already showed the Note 5 at a New York event earlier this month. Instead, Sammy has already announced the Gear S2 (its first new smartwatch in a year) and we could see new phones, as well.

Appliances and smart home also will be out in force Thursday with press conferences from Electrolux (it has a connected oven with a camera ), Whirlpool, Philips, Sharp and Haier. And speaking of home (though the living room instead of the kitchen), LG's event that afternoon should give us another look at its new LG EF9500 4K OLED TV and the new Urbane Luxe smartwatch .

Friday, September 4

Friday is the first day when the Berlin Messe is open to the public, so press events wind down significantly. A highlight is a keynote address from Microsoft corporate VP Nick Parker called "Windows 10 lights up new devices." Will we see new such devices? We'll have to wait and see.

IFA stands for, well...something in German.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Who to follow on Twitter at IFA

All our editors will be tweeting everything they see during the show: here's who to follow to keep up with the latest.

Follow @CNET The best of everything at IFA
Follow @rh_brown Rich Brown, Executive Editor
Follow @AshleeEats Ashlee Clark-Thompson, Senior Associate Editor
Follow @rycrist Ry Crist, Associate Editor
Follow @kentgerman Kent German, Senior Managing Editor
Follow @Batteryhq Andrew Hoyle, Senior Editor
Follow @tylerlizenby Tyler Lizenby, Video Producer
Follow @rich_trenholm Rich Trenholm, Senior Editor
Follow @sharatibken Shara Tibken, Senior Writer
Follow @lukewestaway Luke Westaway, Senior Editor