Virtual reality was the standout theme at this year’s IFA as manufacturers across the board used the event as an opportunity to claim a share of the market.
Alcatel launched its Vision VR headset while ZTE also unveiled a VR offering that could be usedalongside its latest Axon smartphone. Mobile Choice editor Sunetra Chakravarti was at the event andtold Mobile that from high-end manufacturers down to entry-level names, the demand for VR washuge.
‘Virtual reality dominated at this year’s IFA,’ she said. ‘Samsung, LG and HTC used the last year tomove into this market and now the rest of the industry are playing catch-up. Everyone from big-name manufacturers to new market entrants used IFA 2016 to try to claim a slice of the VR pie.Alcatel launched its standalone Vision headset while ZTE paired its new Axon 7 smartphone with itsown VR proposition.’
Sony was also a showstopper, launching its first flagship of the year at the Berlin event. Chakravartisaid that despite the public launch, Sony has a long way to go to appeal to those outside their die-hard fan base.
‘The launch of Sony’s new Xperia XZ also took IFA by storm,’ she continued. ‘The manufacturer’s firstflagship of the year made a very public appearance, with Sony no doubt hoping to generate a stronglevel of consumer excitement.
‘A mishmash of the X and Z ranges, the XZ has everything on paper to get die-hard Sony fans excited… However, as Sony itself said at the launch, it has a job to do and converting consumers tovits brand will in all likelihood be an up-hill task.’
For Huawei, IFA 2016 was the perfect time to move into the mid-range market with its latest series of smartphones. The Nova and Nova Plus will come in at £334 and £359 respectively, putting it indirect competition with Apple’s iPhone SE, which will retail at £359.
At the low end of the market,Doro expanded its feature phone portfolio, revealing the Doro 5516 as its latest addition.
Samsung used the high-profile event to expand its wearable portfolio with the launch of its new
smartwatch, the Gear S3, while wearables were also the theme for Alcatel. The brand launched itsGo Watch range of durable smartwatches, flaunting both waterproof and dustproof features.