Don’t expect Steve Jobs to take the stage at the January MacWorld Expo. While rumors of Jobs’ health are being questioned, Apple is denying the health reasons and say the 2009 event will be the final MacWorld for Apple.
Yes, you heard it right. MacWorld, the event where such things as the iPhone and iTunes have been unveiled is no more. After this coming event, Apple is ending its relationship with the MacWorld Expo.
This is of course bigger than just mobile news as Apple became more than just a computer company and more of a lifestyle brand, much of it now centered on the iPhone. Apple has said iNough already, in part because the success of the Apple Stores have made the annual event something less than a must attend.
And with Phil Schiller making the keynote announcement instead of Jobs, this is Apple’s chance to show that the company is more than its legendary founder. Jobs of course was famously fired from Apple before being brought back to save the show from a final curtain.
He did so by launching the iMac, building the iPod brand and of course entering the mobile phone space with the iPhone. And while this reporter types this on a PC in a “Mac-free home” it is still hard to comprehend a world without Apple at MacWorld. In a few weeks I’ll be a CES in Las Vegas, but Apple’s attendance at MacWorld typically occurred at the same time and often stole away some thunder.
While Panasonic could wheel out a 150-inch plasma TV or Bill Gates would give another keynote, the world – even in Vegas – stopped to hear what Jobs had to say. It won’t be the same without the competition from San Francisco.