Mobile devices and wearables take centre stage in Berlin show

Oliver Smith
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NEW MOBILE products from Sony and Samsung were the stars of the show yesterday at Berlin’s IFA, Europe’s biggest consumer electronics show, as the two technology giants unveiled their lineup of devices to compete with Apple’s offerings next week.

Samsung showed off its entry into so-called wearables with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

The smartwatch works as a second screen for Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphones, enabling hands free calling, phone notifications and a built in camera, all in a wristwatch form factor. Samsung also announced that the smartwatch will include its own app store for specifically designed Gear apps. The Gear will go on sale for $300 in October in the US.

Sony showed off its Xperia Z1 smartphone which included a 20.7 megapixel camera in a fully waterproof phone.

Sony also introduced a range of Smart Lens cameras, smartphone add-ons that include all the features of a high end digital camera but use the screen on a smartphone to display the pictures taken.

The announcements came just under a week before Apple is set to announce a range of new iPhones. On Tuesday Apple is expected to release an updated iPhone 5S smartphone as well as a low-cost entry to the iPhone family, the rumoured iPhone 5C.

Unusually Apple will host an event in China just hours after the phones are unveiled.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has made dozens of trips to China this year and Apple is expected to announce a deal with China Mobile, China’s largest network operator, to stock the iPhone for the first time.