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Day 6 - IFA International

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  • Berlin
  • Shenzhen
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  • Germany
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SPOTLIGHT ON JAPAN

SPOTLIGHT ON JAPAN Region Japanese Giants Embark On the Road to Recovery Servicing the smart lifestyle will be key to Japan’s new dawn strategy involves mixing traditional strengths with innovations Panasonic CZ950 OLED TV Japanese consumer electronics firms have had a rough few years, largely as a result of competition from Korean and Chinese companies and from the US rival Apple. But there are signs that the Japanese are fighting back. Having restructured their businesses with a clear focus on future needs, leading players like Panasonic have found the pathway back to success. A new found confidence was evident at IFA 2015, where Panasonic Europe Chairman and CEO Laurent Abadie said the company had returned to strong profitability by moving "far beyond its traditional hardware approach towards a services and solutions business where we connect and protect smart lives." He said Panasonic would focus more of its energy “on technological innovations that support smarter living". This strategy involves mixing traditional strengths with innovations. Product announcements that build on core competences include new induction hobs, A+++ refrigerators with freshness preservation technology and Panasonic's first commercially-available OLED TV set, the CZ950. Equipped with a 4K Studio Master Processor, it is Panasonic's finest quality TV to date. At the same time, Abadie gave an insight into the new Panasonic by discussing Nubo, a 4G monitoring camera that enables consumers to keep a constant check on their valued possessions from remote locations via mobile devices. He also unveiled a partnership with Allianz which will see the companies pool their expertise in technology, insurance and assistance. IFA 2015 also marks the start of the fight back at Toshiba, which arrived in Berlin with “a diverse lineup, for diverse lifestyles”. With an expanded variety of PCs designed to meet every lifestyle need, Toshiba’s new line up emphasised powerful ideas such as mobility, flexibility and entertainment. The highlight for Toshiba was the introduction of the world’s first 31.75cm (12.5”) Ultra HD 4K convertible, the Satellite Radius 12, which allows users to enjoy stunning clarity and immersive entertainment wherever their day takes them. The Satellite Radius 12 and Radius 14 signal the expansion of Toshiba’s convertible portfolio to address the growing demand for this form. They provide solutions for consumers who lead agile lifestyles. The holistic approach being taken Panasonic and Toshiba was also evident in Sharp’s IFA strategy, where the emphasis has moved beyond hardware with the new For Life promise. For Life is Sharp’s plan to integrate home appliances more into people’s lives, by improving after-sales service. For example, Sharp has introduced a Twitter feed where consumers can ask engineers for tech advice 24/7 and even book a call out if their machine has gone wrong. Fujitsu’s contribution to the IFA excitement was the ScanSnap, a document scanners for office, home or mobile use. “Today the smart office is everywhere and digitisation is key," explained Mike Nelson, Vice President at Fujitsu subsidiary PFU (EMEA) Ltd. "Our ScanSnap scanners are as flexible and mobile as professionals and entrepreneurs require at home, in an office or on the go. This makes them a perfect match for their digital lifestyle." Sony, which is expected to return to profitability in 2016, also showed why the Japanese giants can never be underestimated. Pick of its product announcements were the new high-end mobiles. The Xperia Z5 features a 5.2-inch display, a 23-megapixel camera sensor and a fingerprint sensor. Sony also unveiled the Z5 Compact with a 4.6-inch display and the Z5 Premium, which is the first smartphone in the world to have a 4K display. If Japan has a competitive advantage in this era of device and appliance connectivity it is the intellectual capital that underpins any strong innovation culture. Hitachi, for example, has restructured its R&D department around consumer insight. And its big announcement this week is the development of artificial intelligence technology that will enable business systems to realise efficient operations in diverse areas. Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 20

HOSPITALITY / RESTAURANTS / BARS WHERE TO GOIN BERLIN WWW.WHERETOGOINBERLIN.COM CLUBS / EVENTS / SHOPPING / CULTURE Touring Berlin’s Kreuzberg District Stuart Braun Writer and journalist Stuart Braun is a Berlin-based Australian writer and journalist whose book City of Exiles: Berlin from the outside in describes how foreigners like David Bowie have been spellbound by the German capital and have made it their home. Having written about Berlin for publications worldwide, the writer gives IFA visitors a tour of his favourite city district, Kreuzberg. He begins by telling us about the diverse people who have lived in the area over the years. While Kreuzberg was known as a poor working-class area when it was an isolated pocket of West Berlin in the wall years, it is now arguably the most sought-after quarter of the German capital. In recent years Kreuzberg has filled with global creatives who come for affordable rents, 24 hour night life and a vibrant, international arts and culture scene. Each Kreuzberg neighbourhood has its own special flavour, and the best way to discover the area is to walk or hire a bike. Tell us about one of your favourite Kreuzberg neighbourhoods The area around Graefe Strasse is a charming oak-lined zone between the vast Hasenheide Park and the Landwehr Canal, Kreuzberg’s watery, willowed heart. Turkish antique-jumble shops rub shoulders with organic grocers and bakeries, vinyl record stores, second hand booksellers, art galleries, and a quirky confection of bars and restaurants. On a Friday or Tuesday, roll east down the Landwehr canal to the Turkish markets, a souk-like mile of the best vegetable and deli bargains in the city, spiced with fresh cooked cheese/spinach borek, African bean stews, local cakes and coffee, and travelling buskers who appear on the waterside deck. What are some of Kreuzberg’s best cheap eats? It’s endless. On Dieffenbach Strasse, grab a pizza slice at Ron Telesky’s, where pesto, tandoori tofu and rocket share a crispy crust with maple chilli sauce. Or on Oppelner Strasse don’t miss Nil, a Sudanese sandwich joint famed for its falafel, fish and haloumi pides topped with a salubrious peanut salsa. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Wednesday 9 th September 2015 21

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