In a surprise move, Apple Inc. announced Tuesday that Macworld 2009 would be its last Macworld, and that Steve Jobs would not be delivering the keynote for the event. Instead, Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing will deliver this, Apple's last Macworld keynote.
The company said in a statement that it was reaching customers in new ways that weren't possible before, and that it had been pulling back on its trade show presence for some time.
"Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before," the company said, "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 Web site enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways."
The company added, "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 effectively killed the East Coast Macworld when it pulled out of that show in a public brawl with then-CEO of IDG Charlie Greco. IDG cancelled the 2006 Macworld Boston show in September of 2005, a few months after trying to hold the East Coast show without Apple.
In 2002, the last Macworld Tokyo was held after Apple pulled out of that event, though Macworld Paris continues on its own post-Apple world. What remains to be seen, of course, is what will happen to Macworld San Francisco once Apple pulls out.
As of this writing, IDG, the parent company of Macworld Conference & Expo, was working on a statement. Stay tuned to The Mac Observer for more information as it becomes available.
There is no word yet concerning the manner in which CES is celebrating this turn of events.