Apple today announced that its 2009 MacWorld Expo will be its final appearance MacWorld expo. The company said that it, like many other companies during this time, is scaling back its spending. The company also noted that it started to scale back its shows many years ago.
Also, Steve Jobs will not be delivering the opening keynote to MacWorld this year, and instead the keynote will be presented by Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, Philip Schiller. In recent years, Schiller has taken on an increasingly prominent role at Apple's shows, and has accompanied Jobs several times on stage.
At Apple's last WWDC, many analysts noted that Jobs took a very minor role in talking about new products. Instead, the stage was taken by many top executive and this was perceived as the beginning of Jobs' transition away from his day to day role as Apple's CEO.
According to Apple's official press release:
CUPERTINO, California—December 16, 2008—Apple® today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year’s Macworld Conference&Expo, and it will be Apple’s last keynote at the show. The keynote address will be held at Moscone West on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Macworld will be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center January 5-9, 2009.
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.
Apple has been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.
While it is entirely possible that the expo will continue after Apple's exit, it is now unclear how the show will proceed. Apple was clearly the main attraction at the show, and the company often announced new products at the show.