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Macworld pullout blamed on "politics," not Jobs' health

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Following the startling news that Apple would no longer show at Macworld Expo after the 2009 event, one report may put to rest fears that the health of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is the deciding factor behind the move.

Reporter Jim Goldman of CNBC largely supports Apple's official explanation, which pins the choice to exit Macworld on a reduced need to appear at trade shows. According to his alleged sources within Apple, the move is strictly a matter of de-emphasizing the event and not the sign of any health problems that would keep Jobs from presenting a keynote.

"Jobs' decision was more about politics than his pancreas," Goldman says, alluding to Jobs' post-cancer status. "If Jobs for some reason was unable to perform any of his responsibilities as CEO because of health reasons, which would include the Macworld keynote, I should 'rest assured that the board would let me know.'"

Apple has typically followed this practice of disclosure, though only out of necessity: the company remained secretive regarding Jobs' rare form of pancreatic cancer until he chose to undergo surgery in 2004 that temporarily removed him from his duties. In contrast, little has been said this year of Jobs' second, less urgent surgery, which triggered worries and prompted Jobs to call a reporter personally to set the record straight.

The Mac maker's "politics" are more straightforward: the company has gradually withdrawn from many of the shows that once made it famous, whether they have been Macworld Expos in different regions or industry-specific gatherings. Instead, Apple has increasingly chosen to hold its own events, whether they take place at the Town Hall location on its own campus or at special venues like the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which has played home to multiple iPod-related events.

To Goldman, what his sources say is simply a matter of logic: even at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, the largest event of its kind on Earth, large firms are pulling out in favor of in-house presentations that let them get full attention. The departure from Macworld is simply seen as another extension of this behavior, even if it threatens to sink an entire industry event in the process.

"Steve Jobs is fine," Goldman writes. "It's Macworld the expo that's on its last legs."
post #2 of 58
This is pretty obvious. Why would you put something that important in the name and hands of another company? If you're going to do an annual product announcement shindig, you'd want to do it on your own terms. Apple is right on about this. All those moaning about "end of an era" should expect Apple to set soemthing of their own up, from which they can profit. And it'll probably be a lot better. Maybe like the developers conference but for consumers.
post #3 of 58
Bottom line...MacWorld keynotes by Jobs have become a signature event, that grab alot of press and attention. So then whats to replace it?

Anyway. I just hope Apple has something touchy and netbooky up its sleeve to show off at this Macworld to stimulate some interest in buying more Apple product!
post #4 of 58
The timing of MacWorld was always pretty bad, too. Since Apple typically announces products only when they are ready, or nearly ready, to ship, that means they are releasing major new products just a few weeks AFTER everyone already made their holiday purchases. Decoupling their product cycle from a rigid annual trade show schedule means they can better time their releases and be more nimble reacting to the market.
post #5 of 58
Even if Steve Jobs miraculously achieves perfect health, the next Administration will be no friend to Apple's business model.

There is a way that Apple can continue on the path of leading edge innovation and also live in harmony with Socialism.

1.) Add medical diagnostic capabilities to the ipod/iphone line.

2. Give a shitload of freebies to third world countries.
post #6 of 58
I've been watching Steve's keynotes for 12 years. Part of the excitement of the keynote was the room of 2,000 people cheering, which isn't present in these boring, small, private media events.

Over the past several years, the excitement Apple builds in it's products is dwindling. Watching a MacWorld keynote was like Christmas all over again. Now we get nasty iPod Hi-Fi press events where 4 people clap.

Goodbye exciting Apple. Hello just-like-any-other-boring company.

"Think slightly different"
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I've been watching Steve's keynotes for 12 years. Part of the excitement of the keynote was the room of 2,000 people cheering, which isn't present in these boring, small, private media events.

Over the past several years, the excitement Apple builds in it's products is dwindling. Watching a MacWorld keynote was like Christmas all over again. Now we get nasty iPod Hi-Fi press events where 4 people clap.

Goodbye exciting Apple. Hello just-like-any-other-boring company.

"Think slightly different"

What you fail to acknowledge is that during the days of the big MacWorld announcements that gathered thousands of cultic Apple fanboys (hey, me included, so back off) drawing cheers and applause and standing ovations, didn't bring about the kind of truly revolutionary products that are seriously boosting Apple's bottom line right now. I think the Titanium PowerBook was the last "big event" product release that really changed the computing landscape. Since then, products like the iPod, MacBook, and iPhone (not the announcement but the actual release), all occurred in those smaller, but nonetheless hyped-to-hell in-house events.


So, uh, your impression that it's the MacWorld Expos and keynotes therein that make Apple an exciting company is seriously flawed. I can sort of understand it because back then, there was little else to look forward to regarding Apple product announcements. The past several years, and with the demise of not one, not two, but THREE major MacWorld-like events (New York, Tokyo, and Apple Expo Paris), I've gotten accustomed to Apple releasing major products whenever the hell they could and felt like it, and if you get past the nostalgia factor, I'll take today's situation over the past any day of the week.
post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

This is pretty obvious. Why would you put something that important in the name and hands of another company? If you're going to do an annual product announcement shindig, you'd want to do it on your own terms. Apple is right on about this. All those moaning about "end of an era" should expect Apple to set soemthing of their own up, from which they can profit. And it'll probably be a lot better. Maybe like the developers conference but for consumers.

It looked like Apple had plenty of control over the keynote event, except maybe the timing, which may be not enough control in their opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

The timing of MacWorld was always pretty bad, too. Since Apple typically announces products only when they are ready, or nearly ready, to ship, that means they are releasing major new products just a few weeks AFTER everyone already made their holiday purchases. Decoupling their product cycle from a rigid annual trade show schedule means they can better time their releases and be more nimble reacting to the market.

That part makes sense, except for the reacting to the market part. I don't see them using press events to react to the market. They had control of their own notebook and iPod events, and they still didn't have the displays and the more expensive earbuds ready until some time later.
post #9 of 58
As soon as Paul Kent at IDG told BusinessWeek to expect Jobs at the keynote, I knew we wouldn't see Jobs at the keynote. Jobs doesn't like other companies making announcements for Apple, and every company that's done it has seen retribution. Remember when nvidia announced that Apple would be using their new graphics processors? Apple swiftly pulled nvidia out of a bunch of their computers at the very next update.

Apple has obviously been reducing its reliance on third parties for its events, and I expect they would have eventually stopped going to MacWorld. For the current year, with companies like Adobe dropping out of the festivities, MacWorld was bound to be negatively reported in the press anyway. However, Paul Kent sealed the deal for Apple leaving MacWorld when he presumed to make an announcement for the egotistical but brilliant Jobs.
post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacevator View Post

Bottom line...MacWorld keynotes by Jobs have become a signature event, that grab alot of press and attention. So then whats to replace it?

Anyway. I just hope Apple has something touchy and netbooky up its sleeve to show off at this Macworld to stimulate some interest in buying more Apple product!

The special events Apple holds are more signature of Mr. Jobs than MacWorld.

My take is that there will be no major announcements at 2009's MacWorld. A new Mac Mini and iMac, an update on Snow Leopard, and maybe an updated xServe will be key features of the keynote.

Jobs will eventually have to hand the reigns over to his executive staff and he is prepping them to takeover. Each of these keynotes sees more and more of the key players at Apple demo'ing the wares.
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Following the startling news that Apple would no longer show at Macworld Expo after the 2009 event, one report may put to rest fears that the health of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is the deciding factor behind the move. ...

I would bet that Jobs isn't fading into the background because of poor health, but more because of the whole foofarah over his health in general. It's not good for the company to always have the focus on Steve for starters, but by all accounts Steve is also a very private person. The fact that his health, including his toilet habits have become a constant fascination of the media must be mortifying for him.

Certain media folks will be dancing around over the next little while saying that they were "right all along" about his health problems and the need for him to step back, when in fact he could simply be stepping back merely in response to the hounding of the same people.
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post #12 of 58
Yeah, I guess the time when we see S.Jobs delivering speeches is coming to an end. I do hope Apple would have a bigger crowd for their product presentation, I like the atmosphere when people clap to whatever Jobs say, sometime it is funny to watch.

The unibody MB presentation is eventhough interesting but is downright boring if you ask me. The atmosphere, the audience and all is like robotic trolls.
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post #13 of 58
I really don't think this has anything to do with Steve Jobs or his health. Early January is a lousy time for new product announcements, which is what everybody expects at MacWorld. Just think about it-all those people who got iPods/Macintosh/iPhones for Christmas find out two weeks later there's a new model available and what they got is on sale for 30% less.

Or think about all those times they announce products but won't ship them for a couple of months. They have to do it because they have to announce something new at the expo but the product isn't ready. Apple is much better off being able to make announcements at a time or place they choose, IMHO.
post #14 of 58
I think there are a few reasons why Apple is pulling out of these events. First, the events no longer serve Apple like they used to. A couple of years ago Jobs would always be able to pull a surprise from his hat. With the growth of rumor sites and Apple's popularity in the main stream press, this has both taken the fun away from these events for many people (myself included) because almost everything that Apple announces has already been leaked and Apple very rarely (like it used to) gets a stock bounce because of the events. This is because the rumors largely take the surprise away and leave investors underwhelmed even though Apple pretty consistently releases great products. Second, these events cost a lot of money considering the little amount of gain Apple gets. Apple certainly doesn't need these events to get press coverage. Third, these events put pressure on Apple to release product on a specific date. If there is a delay or a particular product isn't announced because of a last minute problem, Apple's stock takes a hit. Now people will not know when Apple is going to release a new product and there will be less stock fluctuation. Fourth, companies like Adobe are starting to find these events don't pay dividends. People are going to buy those products no matter what. Fifth, it used to be the case that small developers of Apple products would really benefit from these events. Now, with Apple's various retail distribution models, it is a lot easier for small developers to get exposure. Sixth, it will remove Jobs from the public eye as much, and therefore, it will be easier when he leaves Apple.

I think this is a great move on Apple's part. To the poster who suggested Apple wouldn't have to release new product right after Christmas, you are right. However, don't expect that from stopping Apple from doing so. People buy for other people before the holidays. After the holiday, they usually have Holiday gift money that they spend on themselves. They also spend more on themselves then on others. This is why you see Apple usually update their lower priced products before the holiday, and their more significantly priced items after the holidays. Accordingly, it makes sense for Apple to update their lines shortly after the holiday.
post #15 of 58
If Apple wants to prove that this is not about Jobs' health, he will either come onstage for a few minutes to introduce the keynote, or do some sort of media-only presentation within a few weeks of Macworld.

Or both- Apple has a lot of computer models that need updated, so there's room for more than one presentation.
post #16 of 58
Actually, research has shown it is a great time for new product announcements. The goal is to entice people who spent money on others to now spend money on themselves. Many people have money that was given to them as a gift. Apple wants that money spent on Apple products. If you were given an Apple product as a gift, you could care less that it is slightly outdated or costs less now. Since you didn't pay for it, your happy as a clam. It is because people buying after the holiday are shopping for themselves that those are the people you want to either get a deal or a revised product. Finally, people expect product to go on sale after the holiday. The whole purpose of that sale is to move out unsold holiday inventory to bring in new product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by night9hawk View Post

I really don't think this has anything to do with Steve Jobs or his health. Early January is a lousy time for new product announcements, which is what everybody expects at MacWorld. Just think about it-all those people who got iPods/Macintosh/iPhones for Christmas find out two weeks later there's a new model available and what they got is on sale for 30% less.

Or think about all those times they announce products but won't ship them for a couple of months. They have to do it because they have to announce something new at the expo but the product isn't ready. Apple is much better off being able to make announcements at a time or place they choose, IMHO.
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss View Post

Even if Steve Jobs miraculously achieves perfect health, the next Administration will be no friend to Apple's business model.

There is a way that Apple can continue on the path of leading edge innovation and also live in harmony with Socialism.

1.) Add medical diagnostic capabilities to the ipod/iphone line.

2. Give a shitload of freebies to third world countries.

What the heck are you talking about?
post #18 of 58
The problem is not Apple pulling out of MacWorld. That is not surprising.

The issue here is that why SJ would skip this last MW, and only announcing it now. A lot of Mac fanboys already got the tickets and have travel plans. SJ may ignore MW, but doing so is a slap on the face of his fans. That's the strange part.

All the logic (Apple doesn't need MW anymore etc) cannot explain why SJ won't give the keynote.
post #19 of 58
Awe, it is cuz Obama won? LOL jk
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post #20 of 58
Another issue - Apple may not need Macworld, but Mac developers sure do. Trade shows are extremely important for the people in the field. It is time to mingle, exchange business cards, talk about partnerships etc.

MacWorld is the best chance for an independent Mac software or hardware developer to get noticed by the press or distributor.

Apple doesn't need MW. MW needs Apple. ISV need MW. Apple needs ISV.

By breaking this cycle, it is a slap on the face to the ISV, who stick with Apple through thick and thin.
post #21 of 58
Perhaps Apple wants to make a splash the Consumer Electronics Expo and later NAB, then on to SIGGRAPH, to other Expos that target specific market segments that ultimately get squashed by the All-in-One MACWORLD.
post #22 of 58
Apple does better with their product announcements on the Apple campus. Trade shows, except for the CES, have been losing popularity for years. Also why pay to go to Macworld Expo when you can see the keynote for free for the past decade? No big loss. You can see if there are new products right on Apple's website.
post #23 of 58
This is how Apple will play in the future...

Sept-Oct = Annual iPod/iPhone updates before Christmas
April-May = WWDC (focus on OS platforms)

Smaller events as needed for announcing hardware updates and new products.

Apple will not switch to CES where it has to compete with a 100 other announcements for attention.
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Yeah, I guess the time when we see S.Jobs delivering speeches is coming to an end. I do hope Apple would have a bigger crowd for their product presentation, I like the atmosphere when people clap to whatever Jobs say, sometime it is funny to watch.

The unibody MB presentation is eventhough interesting but is downright boring if you ask me. The atmosphere, the audience and all is like robotic trolls.

Rather than have the mainstream press at these events, Apple should primarily invite major bloggers and give out golden tickets in Apple products(just like Charlie and the chocolate factory).
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Awe, it is cuz Obama won? LOL jk

Actually now that you mention it... Apple should steal one from the Obama playbook.

Instead of MacWorld Steve should just buy an hour of prime time TV on say ABC and do his infomercial, uh I mean product announcement.
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Rather than have the mainstream press at these events, Apple should primarily invite major bloggers and give out golden tickets in Apple products(just like Charlie and the chocolate factory).

They could be included randomly in boxes, forcing children to buy 10, 12, or even as many as 20 or 30 different ipods looking for one!
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Apple does better with their product announcements on the Apple campus. Trade shows, except for the CES, have been losing popularity for years. Also why pay to go to Macworld Expo when you can see the keynote for free for the past decade? No big loss. You can see if there are new products right on Apple's website.

There is much more to an Expo than just the Keynote. SIGGRAPH, NAB, CES are three Expos that aren't shrinking violets. I'd expect to see Apple visit the Federal/Defense Expos in the future.
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I've been watching Steve's keynotes for 12 years. Part of the excitement of the keynote was the room of 2,000 people cheering, which isn't present in these boring, small, private media events.

Over the past several years, the excitement Apple builds in it's products is dwindling. Watching a MacWorld keynote was like Christmas all over again. Now we get nasty iPod Hi-Fi press events where 4 people clap.

Goodbye exciting Apple. Hello just-like-any-other-boring company.

"Think slightly different"

I totally agree with you on this, I feel the same way, it was just like Christmas, It was something me and my co-worker always looked forward to. It became the most exciting Tuesday for us watching the event unfold line by line as bloggers posted the event via text on their sites and then looking forward to coming home to actually watching the QT stream of the event. I was exciting. Nothing beats the Macworld Expo in January. I am so sorry to see it go myself. This is a big let down to many...I know I'll miss my Mac-Christmas event.

As CES will continue to bore us, there will no longer be a Mac event to bring back the excitement. Too bad cuz those little Apple Press events are just not even close to being the same.
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawhead View Post

What you fail to acknowledge is that during the days of the big MacWorld announcements that gathered thousands of cultic Apple fanboys (hey, me included, so back off) drawing cheers and applause and standing ovations, didn't bring about the kind of truly revolutionary products that are seriously boosting Apple's bottom line right now. I think the Titanium PowerBook was the last "big event" product release that really changed the computing landscape. Since then, products like the iPod, MacBook, and iPhone (not the announcement but the actual release), all occurred in those smaller, but nonetheless hyped-to-hell in-house events.


So, uh, your impression that it's the MacWorld Expos and keynotes therein that make Apple an exciting company is seriously flawed. I can sort of understand it because back then, there was little else to look forward to regarding Apple product announcements. The past several years, and with the demise of not one, not two, but THREE major MacWorld-like events (New York, Tokyo, and Apple Expo Paris), I've gotten accustomed to Apple releasing major products whenever the hell they could and felt like it, and if you get past the nostalgia factor, I'll take today's situation over the past any day of the week.

I think you fail to realize, it was the Mac Expo that brought us Mac Mini, iLife suite, Panther and many great products during that time. Yes, I partially agree that it was the mini events that brought the actual release of the product but it's Steve's charisma on stage to a full room audience introducing the next coolest thing and demonstrating why it's so cool to us is just the thing that draws us in. Anyway, to agree or not, the point being in all, is that it's a sad day to loose Macword Expo as it DID have an IMPACT on us ALL whether you want to believe that or not.
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Actually now that you mention it... Apple should steal one from the Obama playbook.

Instead of MacWorld Steve should just buy an hour of prime time TV on say ABC and do his infomercial, uh I mean product announcement.

haha... and doing this just may still be cheaper than holding an IDG event.
post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnqh View Post

All the logic (Apple doesn't need MW anymore etc) cannot explain why SJ won't give the keynote.

A good point and fodder for the shorts of course, but the other obvious answer is because they will not be announcing anything spectacular at this trade show. I do suspect a new product or two, but nothing grandiose, next time maybe we see SJ it will be about yet another grandiose platform vision. That vision BTW won't have "mac" in its name.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss View Post

There is a way that Apple can continue on the path of leading edge innovation and also live in harmony with Socialism.

Socialism? Haha, that's a funny joke.
post #33 of 58
The thing is, this event was for Apple's fans, the ones who supported Apple through thick and thin, it was an event where all Mac users from all over the world can meet in large numbers.

It was the only place left where an Apple fan could delve in everything Apple and get away from the everything Microsoft. It's a nerd's heaven, and it's only once a year, the keynote speech was like the colosseum's main event.

The end of this event will put a big damper on Apple's fans. It's like a music band that will continue to make music, but ends all their tours.
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post #34 of 58
Imagine what will happen to Apple's stock when Jobs does finally retire. It's going to be a massacre.

The hype and hysteria surrounding APPL is the reason that I've never invested in the company.
post #35 of 58
Yes, but it is Macworld *Conference* and Expo. Macworld is much more than an expo floor. The conference is really good and very extensive. The cultural events around Macworld are numerous. Apples withdrawal will surely kill Macworld and that's a real shame. No more interesting conference session, no more Macworld parties, no more special editions of Mac and Tech programs (podcasts/videocasts/TV).
I understand the economics, but I think Apple is making the wrong decision.
post #36 of 58
Surgeons always think they are God. So Jobs' surgeon operated on himself?
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by night9hawk View Post

I really don't think this has anything to do with Steve Jobs or his health. Early January is a lousy time for new product announcements, which is what everybody expects at MacWorld. Just think about it-all those people who got iPods/Macintosh/iPhones for Christmas find out two weeks later there's a new model available and what they got is on sale for 30% less.

Or think about all those times they announce products but won't ship them for a couple of months. They have to do it because they have to announce something new at the expo but the product isn't ready. Apple is much better off being able to make announcements at a time or place they choose, IMHO.

Most companies announce their new products at the start of the new year.....

CES is the next week.

You make no sense.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnqh View Post

Another issue - Apple may not need Macworld, but Mac developers sure do. Trade shows are extremely important for the people in the field. It is time to mingle, exchange business cards, talk about partnerships etc.

MacWorld is the best chance for an independent Mac software or hardware developer to get noticed by the press or distributor.

Apple doesn't need MW. MW needs Apple. ISV need MW. Apple needs ISV.

By breaking this cycle, it is a slap on the face to the ISV, who stick with Apple through thick and thin.

Interesting point. I wonder if WWDC is enough to fill that role in a similar enough format?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Apple does better with their product announcements on the Apple campus. Trade shows, except for the CES, have been losing popularity for years. Also why pay to go to Macworld Expo when you can see the keynote for free for the past decade? No big loss. You can see if there are new products right on Apple's website.

MWSF Keynote almost always had better buzz and excitement than Apple's press events and it shows in the recorded video. With Apple's press events, it's just press, and they're pretty reserved, as they should be. The number of people wanting to see the keynote seems to have been steadily increasing, despite the fact that people can just watch them at home later that day.
post #39 of 58
IDG pissed Apple off. Steve said 'stuff them, I ain't going'. 'Phil, you go but this is the last show. Were going mainstream and we don't need no stinkin' Macworld'.

WWDC for devs and 'special events' for the rest.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Perhaps Apple wants to make a splash the Consumer Electronics Expo and later NAB, then on to SIGGRAPH, to other Expos that target specific market segments that ultimately get squashed by the All-in-One MACWORLD.

If Apple left MW because they couldn't control the message how are these other venues any better?

At least at MW they were the center of the universe. At other venues(CES, NAB ect..) they would share the stage with other vendors. I have a hard time seeing that.

Seems like I recall that one of the reasons CES was declining was all the attention paid to MW and and the anticipation the press and public put on a Jobs keynote. While Apple may not have been able to completely control the message at MW, it also allowed 3rd party vendors some exposure and that seems to be good for the Mac platform if not Apple directly.
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