Apple Makes Macworld 2009 Its Last—No Steve Jobs Keynote

| Macworld Expo 2009

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 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.

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Well, I can cross one more thing off my “Bucket List”  without ever even doing it.  I have been waiting for a convenient time to attend a MacWorld and see a Steve Jobs Keynote “live”, but I guess that opportunity is not to be.
Oh, well….



In light of the economy and all this shouldn’t be a surprise. Actually in these forums there have been a number of comments, by myself and others, that Macworld was less and less about Macs anyway. IMO it may have become a bit of an anachronism.


I’m disappointed. I realize that Apple is a company, and their goal is to make money, but MacWorld isn’t a sales opportunity - it’s a cultural event. It’s what sets Apple apart from the industry, a bunch of fanatics getting together to celebrate their addiction! I’m sure that Apple’s sales won’t be affected, but the sense of shared camaraderie that Mac owners have with the company is going to suffer.


Having been to 6 other Macworlds in San Francisco, I was looking forward to attending again. Think I might cancel my flights. Considering I am coming from Australia. Will have to look at another holiday this year. Steve wake up to yourself. Reconsider, we need Macworld and we need to see Steve at Macworld.



Well, that certainly is somewhat sad to hear, especialy when you think about all of the third parties that convene to sell Mac-focused goods and services.  But it really does make sense.  Rather than having their own convention, Apple needs to be a major player at the same established computing and electronics conventions where the likes of Dell, HP, and Microsoft show off their new offerings.  That way, Apple’s booth (and the new products contained within) can be directly compared and contrasted with their competitors’.

Also, if you want a cultural event, become a developer.  While MacWorld’s time has passed, I can’t imagine that Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is going anywhere any time soon.


Apple must be thinking that it doesn’t benefit enough from Macworld itself.
Sad thinking on Apple’s part!

Apple must be misconstruing the large importance to itself of the benefit to OTHERS (to its customers and peripheral vendors) from Macworld.
Even those customers (us end users) who do NOT make it to Macworld still benefit from the news, write-ups, and timely announcements.

There are key features and benefits to us all that come from a large, unified trade show, that really can’t come from other methods.

The trade show might not need to be “Macworld” to generate these benefits, but the trade show would still:
(1) need to be Apple-centric and NOT mixed with other platforms (PCs), although Apple should go to a mixed show as well, and
(2) need to be hosted by some relatively “independent” entity and not hosted by Apple itself (as that would have problems with too much bias and not enough free critical evaluation).

This is Apple cutting off its own foot—for no substantial reason.

As for Steve Jobs, if there’s ever a Macworld in SF (as there is now), then Steve Jobs, as the head of Apple, SHOULD be there and addressing it!!!
There’s just no valid excuse (barring serious illness).

It might be OK to have someone in addition to Jobs, but not to have Jobs missing altogether.
That’s just offensive to everybody!


not surprised. trade shows are outrageously expensive (if you haven’t done one you have no idea), and trade shows in California are even worse.

I don’t know how they kept so many exhibitors…
95% of attendees are locals.
the media in attendance are mainly small outfits that’ll read your press releases anyway.

When Apple has something to say, people listen. They don’t need MacWorld.


Trade shows have become grim affairs that must evolve into something new. A recent event on alternative energy was just a row of solar panel installer stands, not a window on a clean energy future. More educational lectures on futuristic hardware and software would be inspiring or the revival of MacHack and developer presentations may be interesting at future shows. Apart from causae maiores Jobs probably realises that CEOs aren’t really at the sharp end of what is happening in computing and the inventors should be the ones talking. Perhaps, this turn of events will be a good thing if it forces the organisers to rethink the show’s format.

The Apple keynote was becoming a bit of cultish and only a jumbled presentation of items that were not quite market ready. Focussed Apple events (as for the iPod) have become more useful.


IMO one reason this seems like a shock is that for many of us Apple is still Apple Computer. It isn’t. Apple Inc. has broadened out and now makes computers and music players and phones and gaming devices, and a TV Media thing, and sells music, and TV shows, and movies. Apple’s focus has turned away from the Macintosh. Because of that it shouldn’t be surprising that they would no longer be going to a trade show that, at least on the face of it, is supposed to be about just the Macintosh.

In my mind I have trouble getting used to the idea that Apple is not primarily a computer company. But that is the reality and we just have to get used to it.


As far as this LAST Macworld show goes, WHY wouldn’t Jobs be attending and presenting?
Especially since this is the LAST one, shouldn’t Jobs complete the tradition of years?

What’s the major benefit in changing the customary routine now?
To show a “change of guard” now?  Doesn’t make sense!
To show how things are going to be different at future Macworlds (when there aren’t going to be any future Macworlds).

And WHY the last-minute-ness of the announcement/change?
What has happened (since original plans for Jobs to speak) to make it so that now Jobs won’t even MC the talk?
This seems like poor timing for this type of change.

NOT stating any reasonable explanation for the decision makes it:
(1) even more disappointing to people’s expectations/plans to hear and see Jobs and
(2) even more offensive to us end users/customers from his slight.

Thanks for not coming to the party!!!
Send a surrogate to blow out your candles.


As a mac lover for all 21 years of my life (Performa 6400 - My first computer), I share the sentiments of Apple’s loyal customers as the company makes a transition to accomodate the largest growth and revenue in its history. However, I am at peace with this because I still believe Apple has remained true to its core. Apple is NOT a computer company, Apple is not a consumer electronics company, Apple is not a major media distributor, while Apple does all these things….at its core, Apple is a software company. 10.5 is better than ever (What we now call Core Animation, 5 years ago we called Pixar), iTunes Music/App/Movie/Rental Store is the #1 Music retailer in the U.S., iPhone 2.0 (Mac OS Mobile Platform) has Blackberry copying (STORM!) and Palm scrambling (A company can’t survive on one product forever). Apple is effectively implementing the Macintosh Operating System 10 (Currentlty with Revision 5) platform in a way I’ve never seen before. Id prefer to see Apple become the industry standard rather than the exception to the rule, that way the standards raised across the board, not for the benefit of a select few. Our secret is out, meaning we will lose many aspects of that intimate relationship between Apple and the apple faithful. This isn’t the first and won’t be the last.

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