Why Macworld will blow CES out of the water - again

Why Macworld will blow CES out of the water - again

Summary: Where is the creativity?CES is a fire hose in a parking lot.


Where is the creativity? CES is a fire hose in a parking lot. Macworld is a crystal-clear Martini in a jazz bar.

Remember when the PC was exciting? Phonebook-thick PC magazines! "Man of the year" awards! Hot ideas coming from every direction! Only one company still knows how to generate that kind of passion: Apple, Inc.

Why is that?

CES: 1.9 million sq ft and nothin' on My sense is that CES is reaching the same level of overkill that Networld/Interop reached in the mid-90's before it started its long implosion. N/I actually was a much larger show - IIRC over 200,000 attendees - and more narrowly focused, but it got to the point that it wasn't an effective platform. Everyone was too wasted from wandering in the desert to take much in.

The CES problem isn't just size. The key audience - dealers, installers, integrators - worry about a lot of unsexy, high-margin stuff like cables, wall mounts, multi-media switches and subwoofers.

I see their point. But it isn't the stuff of consumer dreams. At Macworld, finding cool stuff is easy.

Macworld (Appleworld?) - the $20 billion boutique From the moment Jobs mounts the stage, Reality Distortion Field set to "stun," attendees are begging to be wowed. And they will be.

Compared to CES, Apple has a laser-like focus on cool.

And because Apple is cool, the folks on the Expo floor have to be cool. A few cable vendors will be showing their coolest cables - are blue LEDs still in? - and highlighting wireless cable replacements. The software vendors need to have nice GUIs and the hardware guys need to bend a knee to Apple's design. It's the price of admission.

Can CES be saved? Probably not. It is hard for a price-sensitive mass market to be cool.

Matsushita gets it, which is why they are changing their name to that of their best known brand, Panasonic. About time, guys.

Ultimately it is up to the major vendors to realize that CES is not an effective marketing platform. It is just too hard to find the traffic drivers among the money-makers at CES.

The Storage Bits take The subtext is that I wasn't impressed by CES. Worn out, yes. As an analyst and a marketer I want to understand why. So if you too were underwhelmed by what you've read about CES, you aren't alone.

The fun will be next week.

Comments welcome, as always. I try to read them all and to respond where I have something interesting to say.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Telcos

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  • I think you mean Comdex, not Networld + Interop

    I believe Comdex is the event technology show to which you refer, not Networld+Interop.

    Interop (as it's known once again--having dropped the "networld" part of its name in 2005) is still alive and well and enjoying its place as the leading global business technology event. Interop is quite focused and happens every year at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in May, at Javits in New York in September and multiple cities around the world, including Japan, Brazil and Russia.

  • you know CES sucked when...

    you know CES sucked when the biggest story is that Gizmodo turned off some TVs there.
  • Apple does put on a great show

    And they have an enthusiastic following.
  • typical fanboy post you'd expect him to drool over anything apple does

    typical fanboy post you'd expect him to drool over anything apple does
    SO.CAL Guy
  • And this relates to 'storage' how exactly?

    Oh wait, it doesn't. It's another pointless post from the wannabe Apple 'follower'.

    Did you get angry because David Morgenstern got to hold Jason's hand, and therefore decided to create your own pseudo-Apple loveletters?
    Also, when you get to Sheepleworld, remember to take a box of Kleenex. By the way your recent posts have been going I reckon you might need them once Steve Jobs gets up on stage.
    • At least he tried with the "MS destroys user data" blog!

      There was nothing in that story that had anything to do with data so Robin had to "fudge the facts" in order to make it related to data. You are right though, this has [b]nothing[/b] to do with data. This is nothing more than an Apple Advertisement. Really though, that is all ZDNet has become: an endless stream of Apple ads.
    • Scrat hes a fanboy to him a good microsoft bash or a good suck up to apple

      Scrat robin's a fanboy to him a good microsoft bash or a good suck up to apple is to him the most important thing in life. and he thinks everyone is on the hate microsoft or anything that is not apple ban wagon.

      who cares if it's true or not or if the post has anything to do with storage.

      to him anything not apple is bad and destroys your data. or if someone besides apple has a tech show it has to be a failure. and if steve jobs is not speaking it's not worth listening to unless they are bashing microsoft. then it does not matter who's talking it's worth a listen.
      SO.CAL Guy
  • Boo Hiss

    Another useless article about "Storage". Apple is just one company. Give us a break!

    Are you hoping for some benefit from Apple? What are you wanting from them to write such rubbish?

    Do you really get paid for writing this crap?
  • My God - ...

    Steve Jobs has even brainwashed the techie, techie guy.

    Don't you guys get it? most people couldn't care less about Apple.

    Example - Computer Shopper came last week with the reader awards issue. In every computer category there were NO reader awards for Apple - despite persistent editorial saying how wonderful the Macs are and giving them editors choice - NOT A SINGLE READER AWARD.... get the message - we don't care about Apple
    Paul Fletcher
    • It seems like you do care

      Weather for good or bad, it seems you do care.
      Prime Detailer
      • the only thing I care about here is the truth

        if I get 20 notices a day and half of them are about some half-witted thing that Apple is doing - it annoys me.
        Paul Fletcher
        • Better go hiking in the woods on Wednesday

          Because every single daily newpspaper will have
          a business story on what Apple introduces (or
          does not introduce) on Tuesday. If considered
          big enough, the story will be bumped up to the
          general news section.

          It's also likely that every single AM TV news
          broadcast will also have a story. If you listen to
          news radio, it'll be there too,

          But as you said, NOBODY cares about what
          Apple does.
          • I should have qualified that NOBODY

            NOBODY except the media...

            read the original post about Computer Shopper.

            Journalists love them - consumers don't care....
            Paul Fletcher
          • Which is why

            The most successful retail chain in America, based on the normal sales per
            square foot, is Apple. Consumers care so little that Apple is now building a
            4th store in just Manhattan.

            Consumers care so little that one of the largest 3rd party apps on Windows
            machines is iTunes (surpassed by Flash player only). Consumers only
            downloaded over 300 million copies of iTunes because they don't care.

            Did it ever occur to you that the readers of Computer Shopper are a
            miniscule portion of the public? I used to see it available in stores but have
            not seen a copy for sale at any store in several years.

            Now Consumer Reports has LOTS of readers and guess who wins their
            satisfaction ratings? Of course you can go to just about any genreal
            interest publication and find customer saticfation stories by various
            research outfits. Who always wins? Usually be a very large margin. Those
            come from ordinary CONSUMERS, not the type that reads Computer
            Shopper or any other special interst computer mag.
          • the reason itunes gets downloaded if you don't own an

            the reason itunes gets downloaded if you don't own an ipod is because it's forced down your throat. you can just download quick time with out it but when you get the updates prompt you have to download both.

            i don't watch anything with the .mov if a website does not give me a choice in the format that i can watch a clip. i don't go back to that website because there's a lot more sites that does give you a choice. so i don't have the quick time codec on my box and it will never be on it. for one thing it's full of holes.

            and it's no better than wmv or divx or any other format.
            and they have less security holes to contend with.

            so the reason itunes is on so many windows boxes is because most users just don't know they don't have to have it on there box.
            SO.CAL Guy
          • That's what happens

            When you sell a lot of overpriced junk in a few tiny stores, strategically placed in big cities with a lot of moronic Appleites and their expendable income.

            Big freaking woop.
          • It's more than the media

            Apple stories get the biggest hits here at ZDNET. and you are an example of the the many many people who claim to not care about Apple yet post comment after comment about any Apple related story.

            Face it, Everyone here is obsessed with Apple, the fanboys and the haters alike.
          • Britney Spears has been splattered all over the news recently

            and as sure as hell don't give two squirts about her.
            But who does care about her? The media.

  • I love MacWorld

    They show all kinds of really cool technology there. Then I wait 2 years and get equivalent equipment at 10 cents on the dollar when all of the lower priced PC manufacturers imitate it. The iPod is a great example.
  • Ok Ive had enough!

    If I read one more blogger who writes MacWorld is going to blow COMDEX away, or one more pundit who says Apple is the most influential consumer electronics company in the world, Im going to scream! No wait, I already did that this morning. Im going post a comment about how stupid and illogical those statements are.

    Check out this link.


    Yep, right there at the top of the page, thats the complete line up of Apples consumer electronics. A cell pnone, 4 mp3 players, a media extender, 2 laptops, and 3 PCs. WOW, be still my foolish heart.

    Other than the iPods, most consumers don???t give a rats butt about what Apples is doing. Yes the iPhone was revolutionary, but when you compare the unit sales of the iPhone to the unit sales of all other cell phones sold last year, it really wasn???t that big of a deal.

    Not that Im a big Sony fan, but in terms of revenue, Sony sells circles around Apple.

    Look, Apple can send out press releases or leak details all day long, its not news until you guys make it news. Tech reporters make Apple influential, not Apple.

    Reading your post I got the impression that you were unimpressed with CES because you WANTED to be unimpressed. "Its too big, too showy, too blah, blah, blah, I wanna be at Macworld." At least you went. I love reading the guys that wrote off the CES and raved about Macworld before the either show even started.

    Time to engage the ASRDF (anti-stevejobs reality distortion field) folks.