"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."
I really don't know what to say to this... I'm pretty surprised, stunned, shocked, and disappointed because without Apple, you can pretty much bet this will be the last Macworld, or at least the last one that really matters. With Apple having its special product announcement shows throughout the year, it really is becoming less necessary to have a Macworld event yearly. Just look at this year; Apple refreshed almost every product line well in advance of the January show making people wonder what they were even going to announce in San Francisco, if anything. And as much as I think Schiller is great and is the heir apparent to Jobs' desk, people aren't going to Macworld to see him; they're going to see a Stevenote.
It's a sad day for the Mac community.