We had already expressed doubts about Steve Jobs taking the stage at Macworld in January, and now Apple’s confirmed the CEO won’t be giving his usual keynote, instead handing the reigns to Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. What’s more, 2009 will be Apple’s last appearance at Macworld.
Issuing a press release, Apple said it is now “reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers.
“The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.”
The Mac maker also underlined that it had been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris. As a result, from next year it will stop participating in Macworld.
However, this will be seen by many as a landmark move. For Steve Jobs to step out of the limelight raises several questions: is his poor health back on the agenda? Is he winding down in preparation for retirement?
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January 5 | £varies | Apple