Philip Schiller's Macworld keynote detail just got easier

Philip Schiller's Macworld keynote detail just got easier

Summary: When it comes to Macworld keynotes it is the best and worst of times for Apple marketing guru Philip Schiller, the stand-in for Steve Jobs on Tuesday.Here's the breakdown:Worst of times: Schiller has to be a stand-in for Jobs at the last Macworld event.

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When it comes to Macworld keynotes it is the best and worst of times for Apple marketing guru Philip Schiller, the stand-in for Steve Jobs on Tuesday.

Here's the breakdown:

Worst of times: Schiller has to be a stand-in for Jobs at the last Macworld event. He has an impossible task.

Best of times: There are no expectations for grandeur from Schiller so he's likely to top expectations.

Best of times: Schiller has some goodwill going for him in light of Jobs' disclosure that he is being treated for a hormone imbalance instead of being on his often rumored deathbed.

Best of times: Given Jobs' disclosure that he will remain CEO we won't overanalyze Schiller's Macworld keynote as an audition to be chief executive.

Advantage Schiller.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster sums up the consensus view, which reveals low expectations for Schiller and Apple at Macworld:

On 12/6 Apple announced that Macworld 2009 will be the last Macworld in which the company will participate. Additionally, Apple indicated that Phil Schiller will keynote Macworld in place of CEO Steve Jobs. As a result, Street expectations for the event are low, no significant new products are expected. Earlier today (1/5) Apple preemptively addressed Jobs' health issues in an open letter describing a treatable hormone imbalance, for which he has already begun treatment. Predicting product announcements for this year's Macworld has been difficult with new iPods and Macs released in the fall and the relatively new iPhone 3G (released in July). With Phil Schiller delivering the keynote, we believe it suggests there will not be any revolutionary products at this year's event. Possible new products include an updated iMac and/or a redesigned Mac mini. We continue to expect a new form factor iPhone in the March quarter. We initially thought there was an outside chance that a new iPhone could be announced at Macworld, the news regarding the keynote leads us to believe that a new iPhone at Macworld is less likely.

Now the real topping would be if Apple actually announces a few neat things in Jobs' absence. Apple could prove a few things by making such a move. For starters, Apple could show that it's more than Steve Jobs. The company could also show that its product beat goes on.

Will it happen? Who knows, but it seems to me that Schiller's job just got a little easier at Macworld.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, CXO, Enterprise Software, Health, Mobility, Software, IT Employment

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5 comments
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  • Jobs and Apple brands

    Dr. Tantillo ('the marketing doctor') did a post back in July on his <a href="http://blog.marketingdoctor.tv"> branding blog</a>, pointing out that Jobs and Apple are two separate--albeit intertwined--brands. He insisted that while Jobs is irreplaceable, he should address the question of succession Now (well, then, in July) to best secure Apple's future--and reassure stockholders. It makes sense to at least have a plan in place.
    <a href="http://blog.marketingdoctor.tv/2008/07/24/brand-advisory.aspx">Tantillo's full post</a>
    elo8
    • Apple should have a plan

      Apple should definitely have a plan regardless of whether Jobs is currently dying, considering retiring, or whatever. The reality is, humans are fragile. Accidents and sudden illness can strike at any time. Jobs is not invulnerable. We all have a lifespan. If Apple stockholders are so skittish that they permanently tie the Jobs brand to the Apple brand, then that means Apple has a fragile lifespan, too. Any company with a brain would do their best to eliminate that connection. Publishing succession plans would go a long way toward severing that tie.
      BillDem
      • There is a Plan...

        Nonsense! Of course Apple has a succession plan for its top
        executive, as any successful company should--and almost all
        do. Apple has an impressive Board of Directors with exceptional
        business backgrounds (except for Gore) and I have no doubt that
        they keep such a plan updated as time goes on.

        However, companies should NOT publish such a plan. Think
        about it! If they state that a specific person will succeed the CEO,
        that person might have slighter lower motivation to excel, and
        any other contenders would have increased motivation to leave
        the company. Competition is good! And what if something
        happens to the designated successor? With the volatility (NOT
        fragility) of the stock market, such a successor
        leaving/dying/being arrested, etc., would dump the stock
        temporarily anyway, so there is much more downside than
        upside for Apple or any company to publish their succession
        plan. That is why you very rarely see it done.
        frabjous
  • Will Phil Thrill - Yes He Will!

    I agree with you that things are now looking to be a lot
    easier tomorrow for Phil Schiller and I also agree with
    BillDem's reply, that yes, Apple needs a replacement
    strategy, because you never know, Steve, like anyone else,
    can always be hit by a bus like the rest of us, no matter
    how healthy or unhealthy he is now.

    I also agree that this could indeed be a good thing, for
    Apple, and especially if Phil actually introduces something
    news worthy tomorrow. I wrote a post on my own little
    blog called: "MacWorld 2009: Will Phil Thrill?"

    My answer is that I personally think he will! No, he won't
    top Steve's introduction of the iPhone, but knowing Steve,
    he probably had the whole thing planned well ahead of
    time - to maximized it's last MacWorld by going out
    with a bang!

    Not only that, but this will indeed, hopefully, demonstrate,
    as you noted, that Apple is more than just Steve Jobs and
    that it can be expected to keep on belting out the most
    innovative tech products with, or without, Steve at the
    helm!
    netzd
  • RE: Philip Schiller's Macworld keynote detail just got easier

    Apple is a gigantic company with
    many bright individuals working on
    various aspects of its products. Mr.
    Jobs is not possibly able to be
    watching over every aspect of every
    products but I would say in spite of
    his reputation, there are plenty of
    people working there who enjoy the
    trust and respect of the company and
    its CEO, Jobs. There is not a doubt in
    my mind that the Board has discussed
    this inevitable change in future and
    that future is no doubt coming sooner
    rather than later. Life changes and so
    does one's priorities. Likely after
    having been dreadfully sick Mr. Jobs
    might have come to realise that life is
    more than working non stop and I
    would not be surprised if he himself
    has been setting a pathway for others
    to follow, explore and to open new
    ideas as well. No multi billion dollar
    company reflects one man's vision
    alone. It is not possible. Now that
    Apple has straightened itself out of
    the death spiral it was in in the 1990s
    I suspect they have a business like
    handle on the excesses of that period
    and the lack of direction the company
    was going in at the time. Once burnt, I
    think Apple will not allow itself the
    same faults again. I am sure they
    would not be foolish enough to get a
    CEO like the several they had gotten
    during the bad days...They will find a
    real visionary and not someone who
    talks about quality flashlights or soft
    drinks. There are many who admire
    the company as well they should and
    there ought not to be a problem
    getting a really adventurous and
    brilliant CEO who can keep the
    company forging ahead.
    nfiertel