IFA 2020 officially kicked off today, but that doesn’t mean we’re short on announcements. Countless tech companies have already announced some of their biggest products of the year in-person and online. Scroll down to discover all the announcements that have taken place at IFA 2020 so far.
IFA is a Berlin-based gadget and home appliance showcase that brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. With MWC, Google I/O, GDC and more major tech events all having been cancelled this year, we were surprised to hear that IFA would still be going ahead as a physical event this week. Thankfully, the German Association for Entertainment and Communications Electronics (GFU) will be working with public health authorities to run the event on a much smaller scale this year. These precautions include closing the halls to the general public and running IFA 2020 purely as a B2B event.
That doesn’t mean tech fans are excluded, however. IFA 2020 Special Edition (as it has been named) will also take place digitally so you can still attend without leaving the comfort of your living room. Digital events have been a popular response to the coronavirus pandemic. Apple organised WWDC as a digital event in June, while CES has already announced that its 2021 conference will be going digital-only in January.
Read on for all you need to know about IFA 2020. We’ll be updating this page regularly with all the biggest announcements from the event so make sure to come back for all the latest news.
IFA 2020 dates
As ever, IFA 2020 will take place in Berlin at Messe Berlin. The show is scheduled to open on Thursday September 3 and close on Saturday September 5, running for just three days.
Last year’s show brought in 245,000 visitors, including 2,800 journalists from 160 countries. Obviously, IFA has been required to tone is down this year, as the city of Berlin has banned events involving more than 5000 participants until at least October 24.
IFA 2020 will not be open to the public. Instead, the event’s organisers have said that it will be invite-only and that they “will put strict limits on the number of attendees”, with no more than 1000 people allowed to attend each of the four main events:
- IFA Global Press Conference
- IFA NEXT meets IFA SHIFT Mobility
- IFA Global Markets
- IFA Business, Retail & Meeting Lounges
800 journalists from at least 50 countries will be invited to Berlin to cover the Global Press Conference, which is where brands and manufacturers will showcase their latest products.
IFA NEXT meets IFA SHIFT Mobility will have a startup flavour, while the final two will give companies the opportunity to hash out deals.
The organisers of IFA have promised a “virtual experience” too, but it isn’t yet clear what that will entail.
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IFA 2020 exhibitors
Although several major companies dropped out of MWC 2020 before the GSMA eventually pulled the plug on the entire thing, the vast majority of attendees seemed determined to press ahead with the show, despite the rapid spread of coronavirus at that time.
It should perhaps come as no surprise, then, to see that several huge names have already given IFA 2020 their backing, including Qualcomm, Huawei, Fitbit, Sennheiser and Miele.
Here’s who we’ve heard from so far:
Harmon Kardon unveiled the latest addition to its Citation range this week.
The Citation 200 smart speaker is both an indoor and outdoor speaker, designed with portability in mind. The £299 speaker features a 1-inch tweeter, a 5-inch midranger driver and two passive radiators for bass. The speaker also boasts sophisticated Scandinavian design, eight hours of battery, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and Google Assistant support, along with support for AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast.
The Citation 200 will be available from October in Winter Gray and Classic Black finishes.
Sennheiser also had an announcement for audio fans this week. The CX 400BT are the company’s latest set of midrange true wireless earbuds.
The £169 earbuds sit somewhere below the Momentum True Wireless 2, offering great performance at a more affordable price. The CX 400BT feature 7mm dynamic drivers for high-fidelity audio, a seven hour battery life, touch controls and voice assistant support.
The earbuds also feature Bluetooth 5.1 and support the SBC, AAC and aptX codecs. The CX 400BT will be available to buy from September 15 and come in black and white colour options.
JBL launched two new pairs of noise cancelling earbuds this week – and they’re affordable, too. The Live Free NC+ and the Reflect Mini TWS are the latest earbuds to join JBL’s lineup.
The Live Free NC+ offer ANC and JBL’s Smart Ambient technology, along with 21 hours of battery life and voice assistant support for just £139.99. The earbuds are also Qi charging compatible and come in black, white, blue and rose colours.
The Reflect Mini TWS are even more affordable at £129.99. These earbuds are better suited to fitness and travel with their ear-fin design and ANC for limited distractions. The buds include 21 hours of battery life, Google Assistant support, the Smart Ambient feature and come in black, white and blue. The two pairs of noise cancelling buds will be available from October.
JBL also announced a non-ANC earbud, the TUNE 225TWS. The successor to the TUNE 220TWS features a better battery life and improved sound quality and will be available from September.
Philips had plenty to unveil this week, but we’ll start with its latest pair of over-ears. The Fidelio L3 are noise cancelling headphones that have already won an award for their design. The headphones are packed with 40mm drivers, a Hybrid ANC system, Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX-HD support and Google Assistant. The L3 also feature touch controls and a 35 hour battery life, all wrapped up in memory foam and Muirhead sustainable leather.
The L3 weren’t the only audio offering from Philips this year. The Fidelio B95 and B97 Atmos soundbars also joined the Fidelio range, the latter the first soundbar to receive the IMAX Enhanced certification.
Then there’s the flagship OLED+935 TV. The Philips and Bowers & Wilkins partnership – which comes in 65-inch, 55-inch and 48-inch sizes – has already been recognised with awards from EISA and Best Home Theatre TV. The TV features the 4th Gen P5 processor, a dedicated AI chip, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision and Dolbv Atmos support, among more.
Samsung announced its latest 4K laser projector, The Premiere. The ultra-short-throw device presents an 130-inch display even when placed against a wall.
The Premiere includes integrated woofers and the Acoustic Bean surround sound found in Samsung’s sound bars. The projector also takes advantage of Samsung Smart TV, smartphone mirroring and Galaxy Tap View to display content and well as Samsung’s Filmmaker Mode.
The LSP9T is a 130-inch display and the world’s first HDR10+ certified projector with triple laser technology, while the slightly smaller LSP7T projects a 120-inch display. Samsung says the display will come to Europe before the end of the year.
Nvidia might not officially be a part of IFA this year, but that didn’t stop the company from making a massive announcement earlier this week.
The Nvidia Ampere range of graphics cards is here and it includes the GeForce RTX 3070, the RTX 3080 and the 8K-capable RTX 3090. The 8nm custom process features a huge 28 billion transistors, while new RT and Tensor cores are set to improve performance for ray tracing and DLSS.
The new GPUs are set to launch in September and October, with prices starting at £469 and going as high as £1399.
Intel also unveiled its 11th gen Tiger Lake processor this week, meaning a handful of new laptops have been confirmed.
The Ice Lake successor has been called the “world’s best processor for thin-and-light laptops’, making it ideal for ultrabooks. Over 150 laptops are expected to launch with the CPU, including devices from Acer, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and Razer. The Dell XPS 13 and the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G have already been confirmed to be carrying the new processor.
IFA 2020 keynotes
Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon will deliver the opening keynote, and apparently plans to speak about “the company’s latest developments in 5G, AI and other key technologies that will drive the future of the Internet and deliver the devices and capabilities the world needs”.
Amon was a keynote speaker at last year’s event too, as was Huawei CEO Richard Yu, who we’d love to hear from given the ongoing US trade ban.
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IFA 2020 coronavirus safety measures
IFA’s organisers “have been in close coordination with public health authorities,” according to Jens Heithecker, the executive director of IFA Berlin.
“They have worked with us as we have developed our concept, and together we have agreed a safe and workable solution,” he added.
“Of course, we hope and expect that between now and September, the public health situation will improve. However, we are basing all our planning on the most stringent health and safety guidelines.”
Reducing the number of attendees to 1000 per event should make it easier to enforce social distancing, and all keynotes and press conferences will take place on two or three stages, meaning attendees won’t have to move from conference hall to conference hall.
That will come as a relief to anyone who’s ever visited the labyrinthine Messe Berlin before, where getting completely lost and finding yourself in the middle of a building site is par for the course.
“The organizers will make sure that social distancing, careful crowd control and other effective public hygiene measures are all in place,” IFA has said in an announcement.
We’re going to assume that handshakes are off the menu.