The Death Of MacWorld
Apple dropped a bombshell yesterday, saying Steve Jobs will not present the MacWorld 2009 keynote and it would be Apple’s last attendance at MacWorld.
Needless to say, when I first read that press release, I felt a mix of shock, annoyance, anger, and tears. Yes, I’m an Apple fanboy. But I’ve now moved into the acceptance phase.
Let me start with the fallout: Basically after this year, as far as I’m concerned, MacWorld is over. There’s no point in attending the trade show without Apple, and if Apple isn’t at future MacWorlds, this will be the last one I ever attend.
The second effect is lowered expectations: Apple has nothing revolutionary to announce. There will be no iPhone 4G, iTablet, or MultiTouch iMac. Expectations have been submarined.
But the biggest effect is the end of the huge, media circus atmosphere surrounding the MacWorld keynote. In the past, Apple used the January MacWorld keynote to its advantage, announcing some big products, in particular the iMac, Safari, the Mac Mini, and the iPhone. As a result, expectations for the MacWorld keynote have arguably been blown out of proportion.
But despite these changes, Apple will be just fine. They have the ability to hold their own special media events, and at any time of the year. They will have more control over the message. They could conceivably broadcast a live event to Apple Stores.
There is some speculation that this move is related to Steve Jobs’ health. I’d speculate it’s more related to Apple’s search for a successor. Steve Jobs is an incredibly talented public speaker, and had created a pretty huge shoe for the next Apple figurehead to fill. By moving emphasis away from the venerable MacWorld keynote, it makes the job much easier for the future iCEO.
And one last thought: what’s the point of a conference named “MacWorld” in 2010, where Apple is increasingly better known for its iPods, iTunes, iPhones, and Apple TVs? Apple is becoming an entertainment company that just happens to make Macs.
The successor to MacWorld is “AppleWorld” – and it takes place at an Apple Store near you, every day of the year.