The technology that is here, though, is dominated by Samsung. While other Asian tech giants like Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic also use IFA to launch products, they're bit players. In this show, Samsung not only plays the lead, it has all the best lines.
While the Apple iWatch is still a rumor and the Pebble and other smartwatch vendors are locked in a battle to capture 0.01 percent market share, Samsung pulled the wrapper off its first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear.
Likewise, while blogs continue to flog the rumor of an Apple HDTV, Samsung has been in the smart TV market for years. Want an OLED smart TV? Check. You want that OLED screen curved? We're on it. Ultra-high-def 4K displays? No problem -- would you like yours in 65, 85, 98, or 110 inches?
That's not including the Samsung refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and other gizmos on display here. There is apparently no industry Samsung does not intend to dominate in its methodically earnest, cheerfully inevitable way.
Granted, not all of Samsung's ideas are winners. The company has a reputation for throwing oddball features into its products, just because it can. Samsung's curved OLED HDTVs, for example, are capable of displaying two different shows at the same time; viewers wear special glasses to watch one show and not the other (finally, a TV for couch potatoes who can't agree on anything).
Samsung sets the pace
Even if the Gear watch gets a "meh, who needs it?" reception -- it's mostly a secondary display device for Samsung's Android smartphones, after all -- it serves to establish Samsung as the one to beat in yet another category where Apple wants to play.
That's one reason why Apple has taken Samsung to court -- the battleground of last resort -- in a desperate attempt to stave off the inevitable. Apple seems destined to follow Sony down the road of a once-industry-defining company in decline. (Sony also unveiled a smartwatch at IFA. Quick show of hands: Does anyone give a damn about Sony any more?)
It's ironic to me that all of this is going on at the same time Microsoft was finalizing its $7.2 billion purchase of Nokia. It's like Microsoft finally decided it needed to be more like Apple, in command of both the hardware and the underlying software, if it wanted to survive in the mobile space.
It seems to me like it's aping the wrong company.
Has Samsung deposed Apple as the new high-tech king? Weigh in below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "Stick a fork in Apple, it's done," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.