by May 21, 2013 0 comments

– Anil Chopra was hosted in Sardinia by Messe Berlin

We tell you the key trends in consumer electronics segment and how they’ll impact Europe’s largest trade show

IFA is one of the oldest and most prestigious consumer electronics shows of Europe. Organized primarily by Messe Berlin and gfu, the show features the latest electronics and communications products as well as home appliances. It started way back in 1924, and has since grown in both size and stature. Last year alone for instance, the event clocked more than 3.8 billion Euros of business, with 1,439 exhibitors and visitor attendance in excess of 240,000 people.

With such impressive stats, it’s only natural to have very high expectations from every new edition of the event. And to showcase the key highlights of the upcoming IFA 2013, to be held in Berlin from Sep 6 to 11 later this year, its organizers held a global media conference in April. Over 300 members of the media from over 50 countries were hosted at the ForteVillage Resort in Calgiari, the pristine European holiday destination located on the island of Sardinia, Italy.

The conference’s agenda: to apprise global media about the key highlights of IFA 2013 as well as share key market trends and technological developments in electronics and home appliances and how they’ll impact consumer spending in 2013-14. These were presented by IFA’s top management and board, independent research agencies, and key event sponsors.

Profits a Must for Consumer Electronics Industry to Grow
The press conference started with a presentation by Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the supervisory board for gfu. Kamp stressed on the need for consumer electronics industry to be more innovative in their approach in order to grow. This innovation however, will only be possible through investments in R&D, he said. These investments can only take place if the consumer electronics industry is making sufficient profits. This unfortunately, isn’t really happening. Far from making profits, the consumer electronics industry, according to Mr. Kamp has to compensate for losses in excess of 10 billion Euros in 2012. The key reason behind this shocking revelation is that the players of this industry focused more on growing their market share than on profitability. But Kamp was convinced that a re-adjustment was required in the management policies of these companies.

Plenty of Scope for Innovation in TVs Alone
If you take the TV segment alone, then there’s plenty of scope for innovation, which if done right, can pull the consumer electronics out of its miseries. Technologies like larger TV screens for mass markets, screen resolutions that go far beyond HD (like Ultra-HD), the use of OLEDs for advanced screen tech like more brilliant pic quality, flexible displays, etc, 3D entertainment without glasses, speech and gesture control are just a few innovations that could command a premium from customers, thereby helping the industry make some profits.


Asia, the Driving Force of Global Consumer Electronics MarketOutlook for the global home appliance market in 2012 wasn’t very bright, according to the next speaker, Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, Chairman ZVEI Household Appliances Division. Weak economic conditions and low consumer confidence affected the overall result. There was a downturn in Western Europe, with double digit negative growth in sale of appliances. A similar situation persisted in North American market as well. The market share for these two markets is bound to go down further.

Asia however, was the driving force for this market, and moving forward, the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will really grow their market share. According to Dr. Zinkann, the GDB of BRIC states was less than 9% in 2002, while in 2013, it is likely to reach 22%. That’s because the standard of living in these countries is rising. More people in these markets can afford to buy more expensive products. In fact, according to Dr. Zinkann, the largest market worldwide for premium products will be China.

All is not lost however, and Dr. Zinkann was confident that the global market will rebound in 2013. In US for instance, consumer confidence is slowly coming back. Likewise, there’s no reason why Latin America should not perform well again.

Home Appliances Industry Should Focus on Resource Efficiency, Good Design Dr. Zinkann advised the home appliance industry to focus on what really matters: low hanging fruits. For one, energy costs are rising and will continue to do so in the future. The industry must therefore focus on improving the energy efficiency of their products.

Good design has become a key purchasing criteria for large and small appliances like ovens, toasters, coffee machines, etc. The kitchen has become a focal place of life. For many households, kitchen isn’t just a place for cooking and dining, but also for doing school homework or meeting friends, etc. New building architectures are therefore making the kitchen open toward the living room. Hence, their preferences and expectations from home appliances are changing.Global Trends in Home and Lifestyle Market

The GfK World market estimation shows a positive development for major domestic appliances in 2013, according to Jurgen Boyny, the Global Director for Consumer Electronics at G fK Retail and Technology. Boyny was the third speaker at the IFA Global press conference. The market grew from 135 to 140 million units from 2013 to 2014.

Boyny shared some very interesting statistics about the global home and lifestyle market. It’s beyond the scope of this article to share all the findings, but the key take away from his presentation was that the digital world market will continue to grow considerably. In 2014, more tablet PCs will be sold than LCD TVs. Consumers will prefer multifunction devices, like smartphones that can perform multiple tasks in a single device.


IFA to grow by 2% in 2013
The last session of the press conference was taken by Dr. Christian Goke, COO Messe Berlin. Dr. Goke talked about how the exhibitor space has been growing continuously year on year. From 122,000 sq. ft of exhibitor space in 2008, IFA grew to 142,200 sq. ft in 2012. This year, it’s expected to grow by another 2%, according to Dr. Goke. Given that it’s already a large event, even a 2% growth means a lot. Growth in trade visitors is expected to grow by 1.5% in 2013 from 240,000 in 2012.

[image_library_tag 834/78834, style=”float: left;” alt=”hans-joachim-kamp” width=”228″ height=”172″ ,default]

“Consumer electronics industry needs to focus on profitability than increasing market share in order to innovate and grow.”
– Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman, Supervisory Board, gfu



[image_library_tag 835/78835, style=”float: left;” alt=”jurgen-boyny” ,default]

in 2014, more tablet PCs will be sold than LCD TVs. Consumers will prefer multifunction devices, like smartphones that can perform multiple functions.”
Jurgen Boyny, Global Director Consumer Electronics, GfK Retail and Technology

[image_library_tag 836/78836, style=”float: right;” alt=”reinhard-zinkann” width=”234″ height=”159″ ,default]


“IFA is our leading trade show for home appliances in the world. Design is indeed a very fascinating aspect of home appliances, and it will play an important role at IFA 2013”
Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, Chairman ZVEI Household Appliances Divisionchristian-goke

[image_library_tag 837/78837, style=”float: left;” alt=”christian-goke” ,default]

“We will grow at least 2% in 2013, which is a rather respectable figure given where we’re coming from, which is already at a high level.”
Dr. Christian Goke, Chief Operating Officer, Messe Berlin


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