Apple says the annual Macworld Expo is a waste of money and effort now that it has its retail stores doing demo on a daily basis. Now, some Apple watchers say the company is tired of feeling pressure to release products at the show, but perhaps push has come to shove over what the Expo does to kill sales during the biggest buying season of the year.
For example, Charlie Sorrel offers one explanation at Wired:
The trouble with a yearly show is that you face pressure to come up with new products at a set time. And we know that this isn't the Apple way. Apple works on something and then, when it is good and ready, launches it. ...
While many agree with Charlie, I don't know if there's such a pressure building down in Cupertino. Apple is always working on something. We remember the high notes of the keynote announcements, the amazing products and key technology demonstrations. We forget that there have been times that the product introductions featured in the Macworld Expo keynote were low down on the Richter magnitude scale.
The problem for Apple is that almost everyone in the Mac community knows that there's a chance of new products coming at Expo. Starting in the fall, there are almost daily sightings of potential new models or software revisions, the latest being the Mac mini rumor.
So, what happens? It becomes common wisdom for Mac customers to avoid a CPU purchase in the month before the show, just in case a new, better model is released. Or to skip a software upgrade. This effect will happen even if someone doesn't want a new model — they might be able to get a deal on the older generation of machine out in distribution.
The Mac market stops and waits for Expo.
This annual buzz kill must drive Apple's sales and marketing departments crazy. All the money spent on television ads for Macintosh, while loyal customers (some with money in their pockets) are waiting for the Macworld Expo keynote and the chance that new models will be announced.
In the current economic climate, it appears that no company — not even Apple — can afford to waste a single day of the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/Eid al-Adha shopping season.