Apple announces its last year at Macworld Expo, no Jobs keynote

Jim Dalrymple
17 December, 2008
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Apple on Tuesday announced that Macworld Conference & Expo 2009 will be the company’s last. The company also said Steve Jobs will not deliver his traditional keynote at the event this year.

In his place, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, Phil Schiller, will be delivering the keynote at the 2009 Expo. That, said Apple, will be the company’s last keynote at the annual trade show.

“I think its the end of Macworld Expo,” Michael Gartenberg, vice president of market research firm JupiterMedia and editor of the MobileDevicesToday blog, told Macworld. “It’s the end of an era.”

In a press release, Apple explained that it has developed new avenues for interacting with its customers.

“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 company said in the statement posted to its Web site. “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.”

Besides its stores, Apple also holds its own events during which the company has introduced new iPods and computers in the past few years.

“Unlike other companies, Apple are able to draw press and analysts to an event anytime they want,” said Gartenberg.

Gartenberg also believes that the absence of Jobs at the keynote sends a signal to the community. “Without Steve Jobs it’s probably going to be a tame Macworld this year,” he said.

Apple points out that it has been scaling back on trade shows over recent years including including NAB, the former Macworld New York/Boston, Macworld Tokyo, and Apple Expo in Paris.

It’s been a tough lead-up to Macworld Expo this year. Earlier this month, Belkin pulled out of Expo citing economic conditions. And Adobe will also not be exhibiting at the trade show this year, but it will have employees on hand to lead training sessions.

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