Apple said Tuesday that this year will be its final Macworld and Philip Shiller--not Steve Jobs--will deliver the keynote.
A few instant thoughts following Apple's statement:
- Apple just killed Macworld as a tradeshow.
- The rumors about the state of Jobs' health are likely to ramp up again.
- Apple doesn't have any major product launches planned amid a weak economy.
Wall Street appears to be pondering the second bullet point.
In a statement Apple said:
Apple today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year's Macworld Conference & Expo, and it will be Apple's last keynote at the show. The keynote address will be held at Moscone West on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.
Schiller, senior vice president of Apple product marketing, may be a fine fellow, but he's clearly no Jobs.
Rumors aside, Apple may have just signaled the death of Macworld. Without Jobs' keynote why would you show up? Apple said it is cutting back on its trade shows and they "have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers."
In many respects, Apple is correct. Apple produces its own events and buzz and still has big powwows like the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.