BERLIN — The IFA, Europe’s largest consumer electronics fair, opened to good news Friday as signs of an economic recovery and record numbers of exhibitors boosted hope for a strong market response to the latest crop of electronic gadgets.
Organizers of the biennial event were quick to proclaim 2003 as the year of the LCD and plasma flat panel TV. It’s been 75 years since the first ever television broadcast at the German Radio Exhibition, the IFA’s precursor, in 1928.
Also on showcase was digital interactive TV as well as home interconnectivity, which links household devices to each other and to the outside via broadband Internet.
Leading manufacturers used the event to encourage greater cooperation in an effort to set open standards and share technological developments.
“We need a fundamental change to the business model if we are to take our industry into a new growth era,” said Gerard Kleisterlee, chief exec of Philips, in his keynote speech at the IFA Friday.
A record 1,007 exhibitors are presenting their wares at the fair, which has been shortened from 10 to seven days due to cost-saving measures.
(Reuters contributed to this report.)