MacWorld Looks to Future Without Jobs

Jan 4, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The time may have come to deliver a eulogy for MacWorld.
For years, lines have stretched for blocks around the Moscone Center in San Francisco in early January as legions of Apple faithful wait for one man—Steve Jobs.
But that ends this week. Because when MacWorld kicks off today, the show will be without its signature draw: Apple CEO Mr. Jobs will no longer deliver a keynote address at the annual expo.
To many entertainment observers, that marks the end of the show.
“Apple has decided it no longer needs MacWorld to announce products and get media attention,” said Greg Sterling, principal with Sterling Market Intelligence. “Essentially, without a Jobs/Apple keynote, MacWorld is going to fade into obscurity.”
While Apple will send its senior VP of worldwide product marketing, Philip Schiller, to deliver a keynote this year, no one in the Apple orbit can attract fans like Mr. Jobs.
His absence is indeed a major blow, said Arthur Greenwald, a television producer who’s been attending MacWorld since 1985.
But Apple’s stock price has been battered in part because of rumors about new products it might introduce at MacWorld. “In the case of the 2007 iPhone introduction, it made their stock price vulnerable to every crazy blog rumor between January and the June product introduction,” Mr. Greenwald said.
That said, Mr. Greenwald is still betting that Apple could introduce at MacWorld a new version of its Mac Mini that operates as a standalone AppleTV with TiVo-like functionality, he said.
The show will go on in other ways, said Alex Lindsay, a host of the Web series “MacBreak Weekly.” It will cater toward smaller companies and likely also will be a venue for podcasters to broadcast live from the show, he said.
With Apple saying it won’t participate in the 2010 MacWorld, a Town Hall meeting is planned for this year’s event to solicit input from attendees about the gathering’s future direction.


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