Macworld Expo loses Apple in 2010, Jobs in 2009

Apple's defection follows other vendors' withdrawal from the venerable Apple-focused conference. Steve Jobs has apparently given his last Macworld Expo keynote.

Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs.

Apple's decision not to participate in the 2010 Macworld Expo in San Francisco is the latest blow to the decade-old trade show.

Earlier this year, Belkin and Adobe both announced they were withdrawing their booth commitments at Macworld 2009. Other companies are also rumored to be scaling back their Macworld Expo presence.

Still, the company behind the Macworld conference--IDG World Expo, which is owned by the same parent company as PC World--promises that Adobe will still be involved in some demo sessions. The changes, it insists, are no cause for concern.

Apple announced today that it would end its relationship with the annual Macworld Expo after this January's event.

The company also said that Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller and not Apple CEO Steve Jobs will deliver the opening keynote address for the 2009 San Francisco show in early January.

"Every year we see a certain percentage of exhibitors pull out of the event for their own business reasons," a statement from IDG World Expo says. "In this economic climate, it shouldn't be a surprise to see this. The important thing to understand is that Macworld Conference & Expo 2009 will be similar in size to last year's event, and attendees will continue to visit nearly 500 great Mac product vendors on our exhibit floors."

IDG World Expo indicated registrations were "on pace" with past years as early December.

End of an Era

Apple has been a long-standing central component of the conferences, with Steve Jobs typically delivering keynote presentations and introducing new products at the shows. Products such as the iPhone, iTunes, the Macbook Air latop, and the Safari Web browser were all unveiled at Macworld conferences.

Now, however, Apple says it is forced to reevaluate its strategies when it comes to conferences and in-person expositions.

"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," a statement released Tuesday explains.

Apple is also scaling back its presence at other expos, including NAB, Macworld Tokyo, and the Apple Expo in Paris.

Background

The Macworld Expo used to take place on both the West Coast and East Coast. The East Coast Macworld event--which was held in New York and Boston over the years--was cancelled in 2005. Apple had pulled out of that event just three years earlier.

Full disclosure: PC World is owned by IDG, the same company that owns IDG World Expo. No one within IDG outside of the PC World editorial staff had any input as to the content or tone of this article.

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