While Berlin's annual consumer electronics fair has previously been a showcase of home appliances from TVs to fridges, it has become a battleground for manufacturers of wireless gadgets, according to Bloomberg News.
At IFA 2011 this week, Sony Corp., LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., among other device-makers, will unveil their new tablets/and or smartphones.
We've listed some things that we'd love to see at the tech show in Germany, but wont:
10. Samsung Engineers Rubbing Elbows with Apple's. Although Samsung has been producing chips for Apple's mobile devices, the two have been at a war that gets uglier each day. The maker of the iPhone, iPad and iMac has sued Samsung for patent infringement in every country mapped by Google. What's worse, Apple is asking the local courts to stop the sale of Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy S Tab on grounds that they're "slavishly" imitating Apple. What's even worse is that Samsung is running out of brilliant ideas, now saying that Stanley Kubrick's 1968 sci-fi film "2001: A Space Odyssey" invented the tablet.
9. Glasses-Free 3-D Devices That Actually Work. Toshiba has already unveiled the world's first glasses-free 3D laptop, which uses a lenticular screen and integrated webcam. And LG Electronics has already released the LG Optimus 3D, which claims to offer "the world's first 3D experience on a smartphone." But the technology is still in its infancy. Like the LCD screens of laptops more than 10 years ago, these devices would likely show blurred pictures when viewed at the wrong angle or when exposed to sunlight. What could be more interesting is Sony's HMZ personal 3-D viewer, a futuristic little helmet that lets you watch 3-D movies. But would anybody actual sit alone with this $800 visor with an OLED screen? Nintendo released bulky Virtual Boy headgears for gaming 20 years ago, and the device flopped.
8. Apple's Steve Jobs and His Turtleneck Shirt. The man credited for propelling a company near bankruptcy to the world's most valuable tech company; at one point, richer than the U.S. government; and with zero long-term debt. Steve Jobs loves the stage and enjoys touting Apple's new devices. Jobs, the man who created the 21st century, would certainly steal the limelight from any devices exhibited at IFA 2011.
7. The iPad Killer. Even the world's biggest seller of desktops and laptops (Hewlett-Packard) gave up against the iPad. The tablet version of the BlackBerry (the PlayBook), Motorola's XOOM, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, although cheaper than the iPad, have also failed to gain any ground. But Sony is releasing devices (one with a folded design, and another that looks like the Nintendo DS), which depart from the usual square, flat slab-style of the present tablets. Not only that, the devices are pre-loaded with games and have access to the PlayStation network. Talking about games, Nintendo is already unveiling the WiiU, its next generation gaming console that also works like an iPad. Amazon Inc., the world's largest online retailer, is also gearing up to sell its own tablet. But Apple's iPad has 75 percent of the tablet market. And few are buying the others because Jobs has created functional fashion statements (not the turtleneck shirts, but the sleek, easy-to-use products iPad, iPod and iPhone).
6. People Flocking Intel's Ultrabooks. Apple has been providing us with brilliantly designed devices, but the problem with a single manufacturer is pricing power. Apple's devices are not cheap (the $3,000 MacBook Pro for example), and in the absence of competition, it can charge more for the iPad 3. One qualified challenger is the Ultrabook, a new class of mobile computer being promoted by Intel Corp. The Ultrabook will have the performance of today's laptops with tablet-like features. While the Intel device is expected to be more powerful than the iPad -- it is unlikely to take market share away from Apple. Although Intel has been bribing developers for more apps for the Ultrabook, Apple is already way ahead as more than available 100,000 applications optimized for the iPad that can be downloaded from the App Store, in addition to the more than 300,000 iPhone apps that can also work for the Apple tablet.
5. iPhone 5's Most Awaited Curtain Raising. After Jobs decided to only talk about some cloud and updates to platforms for Apple devices at a developers' conference in June, there has been speculation that Apple won't be releasing the iPhone 5 this year. Apple has been unveiling a new iPhone every June for the past four years. Is it production problems, or is Apple still trying to add more features to the new iPhone?
4. A New HP Mobile Device (That Costs $99). After Hewlett-Packard slashed the price of its HP TouchPad from $499 to $99, the HP tablet has suddenly become the hottest on the market. HP paid $1.2 billion for Palm Inc. in July last year, so it's unlikely the TouchPad is the only new webOS device in its pipeline. Since HP is killing its mobile devices business and is getting rid of the inventory, why not release other devices also at $99? It would not be surprising if HP makes an about-face, given that the webOS devices have now penetrated the market following the fire sales. Or it could wait until someone jail-breaks the HP TouchPad and gets it to run on Android.
3. Device That Shows the Glory That Was Nokia. Finland's Nokia was previously the world's largest seller of smartphones. And including the $30 phones and other lower-end models, it is still the largest seller of mobile phones. After retiring the outdated Symbian and changing its mind with the Meego, Nokia is releasing its first batch of Windows-based phones. While Windows is the number one operating system for PCs, nobody -- except probably Bill Gates -- owns a smartphone running on Windows. With Microsoft still building apps for the Windows mobile ecosystem, it won't be at the IFA 2011 when Nokia will take back the crown from Apple and Samsung. Maybe next year.
2. Motorola Phones Designed by Geniuses at Google. Google's search engine -- the world's most popular Web site -- is known for its classic, "less is more" design. Although Google has already developed the Android platform for mobile devices, it is interesting what aesthetics Google (minimalist like the Honeycomb?) will promote for future Motorola phones. After paying $12.5 billion for Motorola's mobile devices business, Google should needs more than the Droid to have a return on its investment.
1. ______________. Riddle me this riddle me that... Readers tell me best thing you want to see in IFA.. so I can write it for the number one slot.
FOR THE TOP TABLETS AT IFA, READ "IFA 2011: Setting Stage for iPad's Ultimate Downfall [PHOTOS]"
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