Apple to skip Macworld after next year, Jobs skips last show

If you’re wondering why Apple’s stock has taken a sharp dive this week, it may be because of one little announcement: Apple will stop delivering keynotes at the yearly Macworld Conference and Expo from 2010 onward, and Steve Jobs won’t even show up at the 2009 show next month. Instead, the less charismatic Phil Schiller (Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing) will be taking care of the keynote. For the uninitiated, the Macworld show has played host to the theatrical introductions of the iPhone, MacBook Air, and Mac mini in recent years.

Considering Jobs’ brush with pancreatic cancer in 2003 and his gaunt appearance at recent events, many are linking the announcement to his possible retirement—or worse. And Jobs’ pivotal position as Apple co-founder, CEO, and de facto messiah would be difficult to replace indeed.

However, this isn’t the first time Apple has pulled out of a major trade show. In 2002, the company similarly decided to stop attending the New York Macworld Expo (which was moving to Boston). Here’s what long-time Apple blogger John Gruber commented back then:

So, to sum it up, the twice-yearly Expos (1) cost Apple millions of dollars; (2) put a lot of pressure on the company to make major product announcements on the Expos’ schedule, not when the products are actually ready; (3) are not under Apple’s direct control.

Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz also writes that an acquaintance at Apple told him two years ago, “We are going to phase out all trade shows.” When asked if that included Macworld, the same friend replied simply, “Yes.” After all, Apple gets huge amounts of media coverage no matter what nowadays, and the timing of the Macworld show forces the company to launch (or announce) products right after the holiday sales rush—not necessarily the best timing.

So, Apple’s withdrawal from the January show isn’t quite as shocking as some make it out to be. That still leaves the elephant in the room: why isn’t Steve Jobs attending the last keynote? When asked a similar question, an Apple spokesman told Time, “Phil [Schiller] is giving the keynote because this is Apple’s last year in the show, and it doesn’t make sense for us to make a major investment in a trade show we will no longer be attending.”

Gizmodo has a different interpretation: Steve Jobs may be slowly preparing to retire. The prolific CEO gave hints of his possible departure at the October keynote, when he left it largely up to his team to introduce the new aluminum MacBooks (and make other announcements) instead of hogging the stage for the whole show.

Comments closed
    • lycium
    • 11 years ago

    if it is health-related, at least he has the sense to quit while he’s ahead.

    i do however wonder how apple will fare without their champion; it’s no secret that jobs’ oversight is the sole reason for apple’s success. those executives who fired and then later hired jobs know this all too well, and i doubt very much that they can find “another steve jobs”. you’d have a better chance of finding another michael jackson!

    • TheShadowself
    • 11 years ago

    First, Apple did *[

      • Flying Fox
      • 11 years ago

      q[

        • no51
        • 11 years ago

        Duke Nukem Forever will be the pinnacle of gaming.

          • StashTheVampede
          • 11 years ago

          It’ll be a showcase for OpenCL.

          • shaq_mobile
          • 11 years ago

          “when it is done”

          btw have you guys seen the newest screens? 😉

          that game surpassed prey as the longest running joke in the gaming industry i believe.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            It surpassed Prey, 2 years ago.

          • DukeNukem
          • 11 years ago

          Keep the faith.

      • potatochobit
      • 11 years ago

      outside of little gimmicky and fad items
      I would say that part of the reason for apple’s market share growing has to be attributed to the advancement of print/graphic media production software on home PCs. Only because it is ‘better’ on a MAC that I own one currently.
      also, pretty much everyone I know who owns a MAC works in this field.

    • DukeNukem
    • 11 years ago

    Jobs is a c*nt if I’ve ever seen/heard one.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      You haven’t. They are /[<*slightly*<]/ differentg{<.<}g

    • onlycodered
    • 11 years ago

    I fear this may be the beginning of the end for Apple.

    • Decelerate
    • 11 years ago

    It is somewhat the end of an era.

    Those macworld announcements made the 6’o clock news, rivaled only by major Windows releases in this segment.

    I still remember the IT commentators noting that the iPhone announcement litterally stole CES’s spotlight.

    It’s not only sad for Apple fanboys, but also for anyone interested in marketing, because they truly ruled that domain.

    That being said, I’m still waiting for new Shuttle barebones! *grr*

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    Article means nothing to me, but the featured front page pic with Jobs exiting stage right is pricelessly apropos.

      • Pachyuromys
      • 11 years ago

      2nded!

      • srg86
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed, anything to do with Apple is a big fat meh to me. But it’s defiantly fitting that he’s exiting stage right to me too.

    • Pachyuromys
    • 11 years ago

    Steve Jobs is dead. Has been for some time. The body double they hired to do his keynotes was quite convincing, but not quite as convincing as _[

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 11 years ago

    this is one big “bag of hurt” to the whole ifanbase 😀

    • willyolio
    • 11 years ago

    what is there at macworld other than apple? i’d be like HondaCivicWorld with no Hondas.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      You can bring as many Hondas as you like. Honda corporate just won’t be there to fluff them.

        • willyolio
        • 11 years ago

        but who’s left? people selling ipod accessories? at least Honda Civics have a huge aftermarket/tuner business for them.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          The Apple aftermarket is absolutely enormous, particularly in the iPod/iPhone accesory area. Plus there’s no reason why software vendors can’t be showing their wares as well, and for that matter, there’s no reason why Apple couldn’t be supplying demo hardware for its key partners.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 11 years ago

    I have a bad feeling about Steve Jobs’s health. They say he beat his pancreatic cancer, but he still looks like a cancer patient.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      That’s just his distortion field playing with your eyes.

        • shaq_mobile
        • 11 years ago

        well… if he dies we can just replace him with steve ballmer… who is far cooler anyways

        DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS

          • adisor19
          • 11 years ago

          I don’t know about that.. the whole chair trowing thing makes me not want to be in the audience when he makes a speech…

          Adi

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            True, he might be sour on you for your XP/Vista security remarks.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 11 years ago

    wow…adi will drop a tantrum…. how does someone cancel his favorite show ?
    SJ dont gonna take the stage again. that is crazy.

    They should think about the ppl like adisor 😀

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Umm, while i do think it kinda sucks for the rabbid fan base attending the trade shows, it’s not a big deal. It just means products will be announced whenever Apple feels like it and not when the trade show happens to take place.

      Adi

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Even Steve Jobs will die one day. If that doesn’t give you feverish nightmares, I don’t know what would.

          • adisor19
          • 11 years ago

          Contrary to popular belief on this board, no, it would NOT give me nightmares. I do wonder though what would become of the RDF…

          Adi

            • DukeNukem
            • 11 years ago

            We all know Adi has been softly weeping in a dark corner of a room on his Macbook Air since he read this article.

        • Flying Fox
        • 11 years ago

        Meaning they are going to put out the “when it is done” crap.

    • Thresher
    • 11 years ago

    I guess I’m one of the weird ones that never understood why Apple participated in these things. It was self limiting to be stuck introducing products once or twice a year (back when there was a MacWorld Boston). I understand how it could build excitement for a product or the possible introduction of new products, but it limits that excitement to twice a year, on someone else’s calendar.

    • jdaven
    • 11 years ago

    Sign of the times or just nothing to show? Time will tell.

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