Apple has announced, to the surprise to many, that the company’s presence at Macworld Expo in January will be the last it will appear, and that Steve Jobs will not present his usual keynote address, with his replacement being Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, presenting the last ever keynote that Apple will present.
It said in a statement that: “Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.”
“Macworld Conference & Expo has thrived for 25 years due to the strong support of tens of thousands of members of the Mac community worldwide who use Macworld as a way to find great products, partake in professional development training, and cultivate their personal and professional networks,” IDG’s Paul Kent told Ars Technica. He also said that it plans to continue the event even if Apple does not show up.
It also indicates that there is no “big thing”, unlike the Macbook Air in the 2008 Macworld, and the first glimpses of the first-generation iPhone in the 2007 Macworld; as Steve Jobs’ keynotes usually have become one of the most anticipated moments for Apple fanboys when Apple shows off the new must-have gadget from Apple.
Apple has scaled back its presence at many tradeshows, pulling out of NAB and the Apple Expo in Paris, and in 2005 when it pulled out of the Macworld New York before the organisers, IDG (who also run the Macworld in San Francisco), cancelling the event over the backlash of Apple leaving the conference because they decided to move it from New York to Boston.
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