After feeding the animals at work I came back to my computer moments ago to discover, thanks to Twitter, that Apple is no longer going to be at MacWorld after this year. Not only that, but Steve Jobs isn’t even going to give the keynote for this years MacWord.
To say that this movement is shocking is an understatement. I never thought I would see an announcement like this. It has been clear for a while now that Jobs seems to be trying to get out of the spotlight, but to have Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, give the speech is rather surprising. Having somebody other than Steve Jobs give the keynote is a huge hit to Apple fanboys everywhere (or at least the ones on Twitter who are crying about it). A move like this really makes you wonder why Apple is doing this. Is a product launching that Jobs doesn’t like? Are there no major products to be announced? Is Steve sick? Is he quitting the company? I expect this speculation and many other rumors to run wild over the next month after this announcement.
Apple has been scaling back on trade shows for quite a while, but to leave their last major trade show has me asking myself one simple question, why? If the press release is any indication, Apple seems to think that it is too big to be at trade shows. With Apple successfully launching products at its own events, I don’t think that it believes it needs to be at trade shows anymore. Whether they believe they have become too big for trade shows (keep in mind that even Microsoft does trade shows) or they just don’t want to share the attention with other vendors when they make announcements, such an elitist attitude can easily lead to their downfall.
Before this announcement, I thought Apple’s future was rather bright. Now, I am wondering if this is the beginning of the end. One thing is for sure, with an announcement like this, the stock is certain to plunge tomorrow. I also hate to see what this does for the other companies that are at MacWorld now that the spotlight won’t be on the event like it has in the past. This is only the beginning of this story and I believe it will get uglier before it gets better. I will post again as this situation develops and my opinions change.