This week, many of the world's leading tech companies will gather in Germany to show off their latest products at IFA Berlin, Europe's answer to the Consumer Electronics Show. Since 1924, the trade show has been a popular place for the world's innovators to unveil and demonstrate their latest wares. This year should be no different as we expect to see a number of trends emerge:
1. Windows 8 Hybrids: Samsung recently teased a Windows 8 tablet with detachable keyboard on its Facebook page, which many think will be its previously-announced Series 5 Hybrid. Perhaps ASUS will grant visitors a closer look at the Windows 8 hybrids it introduced at Computex, including the unique ASUS Taichi, which has a second screen on the back of its lid.
2. Samsung Keeps Fighting: If you thought Samsung was going to take its ball and go home in the smartphone wars after its defeat in court, you thought wrong. The company is apparently readying a larger sequel to its already-supersized Galaxy Note in the Galaxy Note 2. What should you expect? According to leaked specs obtained by Slashgear, a ginormous 5.5-inch display with 1280 x 720 resolution, a 1.4-GHz quad core Exynos processor, and possibly even Ice Cream Sandwich at launch. The claim to fame, though, will remain a built-in pen for taking notes and using all sorts of stylus-optimized apps.
3. Android-Connected Cameras: GottaBeMobile reports that Samsung will unveil a "Galaxy Camera" at IFA, making it the second manufacturer after Nikon to show off an Android-powered point-and-shoot. Could others be on board, too? And will a camera that runs apps really save the point and shoot?
Windows 8 Notebooks (with Touch): With the likes of Samsung, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo and Dell all exhibiting and the Windows 8's release date just weeks away, we expect to see final or near-final versions of these vendors' Windows 8 notebooks. We'll see how many have touchpads that actually support the new Windows 8 gestures, and how many add touchscreens as a bonus.
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5. Sony Mobile Makes a Tablet Splash? Sony Mobile has one of the first press conferences on our schedule, and we expect the company to make a splash. It's been almost exactly one year since we reviewed the Sony Tablet S, so perhaps we'll see a new version of the slate at IFA. Back in July The Vergereported that the company was readying an Xperia tablet with a Surface-style keyboard.
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6. Jelly Bean Goes Mainstream: It has now been two months since Google introduced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but we haven't seen any non-Google devices come preloaded with the new OS. With Samsung, Lenovo, Sony and Acer all likely to show new tablets or phones, we hope to see at least a couple of devices running Jelly Bean.