Consumer electronics shortage after IFA success
8 September 2005, BERLIN - Exhibitors reaching the end of the six-day IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin Wednesday voiced satisfaction at sales and there were suggestions some products would be in short supply.
8 September 2005
BERLIN - Exhibitors reaching the end of the six-day IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin Wednesday voiced satisfaction at sales and there were suggestions some products would be in short supply.
The September 2-7 fair describes itself as the world's biggest combined show of home-entertainment gear, phones and other consumer- electronics items, with 1,200 leading-brand exhibitors from 40 nations taking part.
"Order traffic was above the already elevated expectations," said Rainer Hecker, president of Germany's GFU consumer electronics association which co-organizes the event held every two years.
Most of the bigger exhibitors told GFU their order volumes were up by more than 10 per cent, according to a Wednesday assessment, and organizers reported well over EUR 2.5 billion in sales lined up.
Organizers said orders were especially strong for the larger flat- panel displays of both the LCD (liquid crystal display) and PDP (plasma display panel) type as the tide turns against bulky traditional television sets.
Car navigation sets, high-fidelity sound systems, DVD recorders, MP3 players and digital photography gear also sold well to the German trade. Several multinationals said they would have to rush fresh supplies to Germany after being surprised by the demand.
Shortages of television sets were possible on the German market.
In a sign that this was no fiction, Sony said Wednesday from its headquarters near Frankfurt that it had run out of its new Play Station Portable (PSP), a week after the European launch. All 75,000 of the mobile consoles in German shops were gone.
The PSP is Sony's first device to challenge Nintendo products such as the GameBoy and Nintendo DS. Previous Sony consoles were designed for use with TV sets rather than to be taken along in cars and buses. The PSP was introduced in Japan in December 2004.
Ronald de Jong, a Philips executive, said, "The order books filled very fast after the start of IFA because demand was strong and there were some fears there would be supply constrictions at Christmas."
IFA manager Christian Goeke said the Berlin fair had attracted more than 250,000 people, 10 per cent fewer than in 2003, but the number of "quality" visitors that trade fairs court - people from the trade - had risen 56 per cent.
The rest are members of the curious public.
IFA has also won some business from its spring rival, CeBIT, held every year in the German city of Hanover. The most notable new arrival this year was Intel, the maker of semi-conductors, which said it felt very comfortable in the consumer electronics world.
Subject: German news