Sleek Smartwatches to steal the show in Berlin

  • 02/09/2015
The Samsung Gear S2 (Papanosio/ Instagram)
The Samsung Gear S2 (Papanosio/ Instagram)

Sleeker and sexier smartwatches are expected to premiere at one of the world's biggest consumer electronics shows in Berlin, with both phone manufacturers and watchmakers jostling for a share of the fast-growing market.

The annual IFA show, which began as an exhibition on the new medium of radio 90 years ago, has developed into a massive showcase for consumers to touch and feel the latest in technological innovations.

Over six days from Friday, tech giants will be trotting out novelties as diverse as chips implanted in humans to virtual reality headsets, drones and the latest 3-D printers.

But it is "wearable" technology, whether smartwatches or fitness gadgets, that is expected to dominate this year's showy.

South Korean electronics giant Samsung will show off its latest smartwatch, the Gear S2.

Chinese technology giant Huawei is also expected to launch its first smartwatch, as it joins other Android users in going head-to-head with Apple, which traditionally does not exhibit at IFA.

"We'll see a new cycle of smartwatches, new smartwatches coming into the market which could be potentially interesting," said Ronan DeRenesse, an analyst from Ovum.

"There'll be some developments in terms of power consumption, the accuracy of the data that's gathered on the smartwatches, the form factors - going towards the round shape, or copying a bit more of Apple Watch, less techie to something a bit more fashionable."

But the smartwatch launches will not be limited to smartphone makers. Watchmakers too will be seeking to safeguard their place on the consumer's wrist.

Among them is Fossil, which has previewed a smartwatch built in partnership with chip giant Intel at a developer's conference in San Francisco, and which could well pick IFA to launch the product.

Analysts expect up to 40 million smartwatches to be sold this year, a massive jump from an estimated 5-6 million last year.