Let the speculation begin! Apple today announced that not only will this January's Macworld Expo be the company's last appearance at the annual gathering of Mac faithful, but also that the keynote address - traditionally Steve Jobs's star turn - will be given by Apple's senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller. …
Curiouser and curiouser
It'll be curious to see how this development plays out next year. The trade shows themselves I would imagine are quite the burden on even the most well heeled of companies, so that's not as much of a surprise. If it turns out that Jobs doesn't take center stage next year that will indeed add a ton more fuel to the rumors that he is stepping down from his primary role in Apple.
As the saying goes, "may you live in interesting times". Times are indeed interesting for Apple right now. With this development and the potential repercussions of it I would say times are doubly interesting for the house that Woz and Jobs built.
IDG is a Waste of Money
When you pay all the IDG and convention center union fees, you are out a LOT of money with no real return on investment.
It's not like the old days when buyers would go to MacWorld to look at product. Now they can go into any Apple store and see all the products first hand.
Apple should have pulled out sooner.
Let's face it, the timing of Macworld for a company that is getting more and more consumer electronics focused is terrible. Thousands of people, and those who look to them for advice, hold off to see what will be announced, which means they're holding off buying on the run up to Christmas.
Apple clearly see the expectation that they will make big announcements at Macworld (and the resulting stock dip when they don't) is tying them to a schedule they don't want and costing them money.
We can assume there will be more media invite events at Infinite Loop for Apple to announce new products on a schedule that suits them, costs them less and generates just as much attention.
when will people catch on...?
that Apple are doing them up the bottom??
'we are not attending a show about us - because 1) stupid (sheep) people will *still* buy our products 2) we want to see how stupid our customers are'
paris - cos even she is not *that* stupid
People still attend COMDEX and E3? Really?
Stepping down or no
Jobs has to make moves of some sort to avert the personality cult that causes such market stupidity every time he farts, though I doubt we'll hear a proper succession plan, as that would involve commenting on future CEOs.
Much more fun in the next couple of weeks is going to be the rumour-mongering about whether or not Schiller getting the gig means the Mac mini update is a go or not. Let alone the launch of the mythical xMac
The Blonde Ambition
Actually, Schiller did keynote a MacWorld Expo on his own, and it wasn't bad at all: it resulted in a gentler nicer one.
History Repeating Itself?
After a brief surge in popularity with sales looking reasonable, Jobs stepping down will see the gradual demise of Apple until it is teetering on bankruptcy again. Catering to the fashionable is a volatile market as they are very fickle and as soon as your products are no longer seen as the 'in' thing, watch your sales tank.
@ACoward "when will people catch on"
I look after six Macs in a small publishing house. I have done so for about twelve years. In that time we have NEVER missed a deadline or schedule, NEVER had to outsource and NEVER had to call in an "IT professional". We have NEVER had a computer fail. We have had to replace the occasional on-board battery and have sometimes fitted extra RAM.
Stupid (sheep) people?
Yep, that's us!
Would the world be worse without Jobs at Apple?
I'm not sure it would. I assume that products would remain of equal quality and adverts would remain of equal smugness. If it meant a refostering of the relationship between Apple and the press as a result of the end of the Steve keynotes then that could only possibly be a good thing.
@AC, good effort with the trolling, but this is The Reg so I'm sure a more fruitful opportunity to insinuate that anybody you don't agree with is stupid will occur later in the day.
@when will people catch on...?
You're so right!
If I go out and buy a Sony laptop from PC World the evil Apple software called Windows is supplied with the laptop even if I don't want to run it.
errrr hold on it's Microsoft who are shafting everyone, supplying Windows with a laptop even if you don't want it!!!!!!
People buy Apple products because they are worth buying. OK they are priced on the steep side, but let me show you Example A: http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/12/17/koy_music_phones/ whats No.1?
Example B: http://fwd.five.tv/gadget-show/bestbuys/phones/mobile-phones
I could go on, but you are not smart enough to understand. I am not a Mac fanboi (i don't use anything apple simply because i don't feel the need to) but i recognise great tech when i see it, an Apple's current range is generally made up of great tech.
Staurt has it dead right.
The withdrawal from Macworld is about timing and control.
The abscence of Steve Job - well thats anyone's guess but it's totally up to him!
We really don't know exactly how much the current product line up is down to him, and how much is down to the team, of which he is just one part. These are interesting times and it will be good to watch and see what pans out in the next year or so.
all this hate...
Macs are Macs, windows is windows, and linux is linux. all have pro's and cons.
use the best tool for the job i say.
hell even the old miggy gets a turn of the crank now and again.
still, there is no denying that Jobs has turned that company around into a viable contender :)
Time to pass on the baton
What I see happening is that Jobs is slowly but decidedly de-emphasizing his presence. His very visible leadership was necessary to get / keep the boat afloat. This is no more necessary; it's no more Jobs selling a single product (i.e. bondi-blue iMac).
On a side-note, why is Jobs the only one considered capable / worthy / etc for announcing a new product? Of course, he is a master showman, but at the end it's the product that has to sell. I see lots of ads for the iPhone, and even there, the Apple logo appears only discreetly.
Personally, if Steve Jobs vacates the show scene, I'll be disappointed. This is because, as Urs points out, he is a 'master showman'. His manner of presentation is excellent. Who knows, perhaps Phil Schiller may be an excellent presenter ... we'll see. What Jobs has done for Apple behind the scenes I don't know but as a front-man for the company he has been without parallel and I hope his brush with cancer is just that.
Say what you like about Jobsy and presentation, he's no Steve Ballmer (thank heavens!).
ipods and broomsticks
Well what if that simpsons episode comes true... and really everyone is moving to their undersea fortress... What about a new product launch with Jobs as the 'Hal 9000' inside the mini... perhaps it will be called the iJobs... (whoops no fan to blow or suck).
Actually Apple's have good marketing image; and manage to make software / hardware which matches that image and stay stable. Since Image is what sells to many of the fashion conscious these days; it will make them a good buck or two. Despite what governments / corporations try to do; some people do still like to be different and make such statements.
As to the various industry fairs... who goes to them? I used to go to an image processing fair in the UK (late 90's) and most of it was people networking and making contacts... with people they already knew. Perhaps there needs to be an online Web2.0 version of a trade fair... an extension to LinkedIn or Xing which adds fields for products you are using... and then once a week 'your contact x is now using product y'. Oh wait... that could be marketing 3.0. Especially if they make it company / product sponsored.
I can see where Apple's coming from with this
as it stands, twice a year (Macworld and WWDC) the Apple rumourmill goes into bugfuck crazy meltdown, setting unrealistic expectations of new kit which only dumps on the share price when it doesn't turn up. By removing at least one of the fixed points, Apple gets to release new product when it wants to in a less formal setting and, hopefully, a more finished state, pretty much as every other company does. About the only losers will be the circlejerking clickthrough rumourmongers and the analysts who seemingly smoke crack while they play buzzword bingo in an effort to yank the chains of those same rumourmongers, while the more mature news sources can run pretty much the articles they normally do after the event anyway.
You've had no failures of 6 computers in 12 years?
Macs vs PCs
I used PCs and Windows for many many years at home, I still do in work, and I use Macs at home. I don't play games (anymore), so don't throw that at me, I do use my Macbook Pro for photographic work, coding work (using java, a happy mysql server, a happy apache server) and general arsing around on t'internets. For photos, OSX (+Aperture+CS3) over WIndows. For coding, just as easy as WIndows, if anything the mysql server needs less fiddling and interaction to keep it working. For the rest, the Mac is much better. Windows makes a habit of annoying the hell out of you because it's written badly. Simple. I don't love Apple, they make stuff, that's it, and I'm less than impressed with their support of their Pro Apps, but they are not Microsoft. Microsoft write bad code and give awful support, I'm proud to not have a single application written by them running on my home computer (and have microsoft.com marked as 'blocked' in NoScript), and still fight the battles with their nonsense ever day in the office.
Oh the humanity...
I'm no Apple fanboi - I use Windows and Linux at home and I bought a Mac for my wife. I have an iPod Touch that I bought as a present to myself, and a Blackberry. I don't covet the iPhone.
Right, that's all the tech baggage out of the way. On to my point.
So far everyone's talking about what Steve's departure would mean to Apple. But no one's mentioned that he's unlikely to give up that position lightly. So if he is going, it's probably because he's very ill. Perhaps even terminally.
Right now I'm not thinking so much about the next gadget, or whether MacWorld will be the same without Apple's presence. I'm thinking about a fellow human being who's facing a challenge that's eclipsing many aspects of life as he's known it. That's something all of us will have to deal with eventually and I sympathise with his plight.
Get well soon, Steve.
[quote] You've had no failures of 6 computers in 12 years?
I believe it. Apple pro hardware is friggin' bulletproof. I have a perfectly functioning B&W G3 of 1999 vintage. Apple's attempted cheapass stuff *koff* Performa 4-series *koff* was appalling, and that's why they excised that market from their line.
I've been using Macintoshes since 1984. I have no plan to stop.... and open source Unix software is what I use most of the time, so it's not that I don't know the alternatives. I'm a former graphic designer and prepress journeyman now studying to be a civil engineer.