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  (Source: Reuters)
The cancellation of Jobs starring spot stirs health rumors, but the move could be mere politics

With the immense popularity of Apple and its bastion of fans that border on fanatical at times, there often comes an over scrutinizing of the company's moves. 

In particular, over the past year there has been much speculation as to the state of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ health.  Jobs went through a very private battle with typically deadly pancreatic cancer several years ago and appeared to recover and be looking healthy the last couple years.  This year, however, some observers have opined that they think Jobs is looking sick and the disease may have reappeared and be worsening. 

In an ironic twist one newspaper even printed Jobs' obituary.  Apple has mostly refused to respond to these rumors, but when it has it has issued sharp denials that this is the case.

Given this background, when Mr. Jobs announced his decision to cancel his yearly keynote at the MacWorld trade show many jumped to the conclusion that the rumors were true and his illness was to blame.

Apple announced the development this week, revealing that Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will take Jobs' place and deliver the keynote at Macworld Expo in San Francisco on January 6th, 2009.  In the past Mr. Jobs had always been on hand, typically to introduce new products; last year he had introduced the MacBook Air at the trade show's keynote address.

However, the real reason of Mr. Jobs exit appears to be more politics than health.

Trade shows' significance in the market has waned noticeably this year, partially due to the tough economy.  The word from Apple came just after Adobe announced it would not be attending MacWorld anymore.  With Belkin, Seagate, and Google also pulling out or downsizing their appearances, the fate of the show, according to some is at risk.

Along with the announcement that Mr. Jobs would not be there comes even more surprising news, which seems to verify that the cancellation was politics -- Apple will not exhibit at MacWorld next year.  Apple cites an improved direct relationship with its customer through its website as negating the need for the show, stating:

Apple is 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 website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

By exiting MacWorld an independent show, Apple stands to gain a tighter control on its public platform, with control something Apple always yearns for.

Despite these turn of events MacWorld's organizer IDG says MacWorld 2010 is still on -- with or without Apple. It states that it "Look(s) forward to many successful years of Macworld to come." 

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From Mac to Ipod...
By Bardan on 12/18/2008 3:05:42 AM , Rating: 2
In the world of tech there are 4 polls of people, the PC "geek's" for lack of a better word, the Apple "fan boys" again for lack of a better word, and then you have the "I need the latest and greatest" group and then "please just give me something that works" group.

Apple does very well with its fan boys, less well with the PC geek's and for good reason. I enjoy overclocking my TI-89, how can Apple expect me to be ok with a phone that I am under strick rules on what I can and can't do with it.

The other 2 groups love Apple products, becouse they are hip and cool, and just plain work, but it cost you more. I had a Macbook Air for a few weeks on loner from my school, its was great. No better then my Asus Eee, but it was a good netbook/notebook. However it cost a lot more then my Eee did... and this is where apple gets in trouble. Pre the Crash of 2008, everyone was willing to pay a good amount more to get something a little bit better. But these days people want a LOT better for a little bit more money.

Things like Ipods and Iphones will allways sell as they are, after all cheap to buy. I mean the Iphone is still overpriced for what it offers, but its cool and won't max out your credit card. However, a MacBook Air, WILL max out one's credit card, so people are going to stop buying them and start picking up the massive number of cheap netbooks that are everywhere.

Desktops on the other hand are, to be honest dead. Unless you need the power they offer, desktops are a thing of the pass, like land phonelines. The geeks and nerds will allways have their desktops, so they can fiddle and try to get a Corei7 to 5ghz, but as they do that they are allso checking their myspace on their netbook.

Apple has found its place, and its with the Iphone/Ipod/Ip-001 land. Desktops are gone and laptops are getting to cheep for Apple to compete. Pulling out of MacWorld is just Apple's way of saying "we will sell you a Ipod forever, but the whole desktop/laptop computer thing, yah we are kinda going to start phaseing that out".

Windows 7 is such a GREAT copy of OSX UI ontop of Vista's very very very good code, (please don't come back and tell me vista is a horid OS, becouse its not, sure it needs a good computer to run it, but thats just progress. Go install OSX on a 1st gen Imac, it does not run that well, trust me) that soon apple will lose the only reason to really by a $2,000 MacBook Air over a $400 Asus Eee, its OS.

Maybe I am wrong with all of this, who knows. But in our current world of people wanting so much for spending so little, Apple is going to be in trouble. Right up there with Organic food, Convertibles, The Disney Channel and AT&T wireless....

RE: From Mac to Ipod...
By kelmon on 12/18/2008 3:27:44 AM , Rating: 1
Windows 7 is such a GREAT copy of OSX UI ontop of Vista's very very very good code, (please don't come back and tell me vista is a horid OS, becouse its not, sure it needs a good computer to run it, but thats just progress. Go install OSX on a 1st gen Imac, it does not run that well, trust me) that soon apple will lose the only reason to really by a $2,000 MacBook Air over a $400 Asus Eee, its OS.

Just a couple of points. The 1st Generation iMac is over 10-years old and I think you'd have been hard pressed to find a PC that old that would run XP acceptably, let alone Vista. I have used OS X on such a machine, briefly, and it seemed OK. However, I can confirm that the current version of the OS runs very nicely on a 7-year old PowerBook.

The other thing is that it is NOT the OS that makes a computer - it's the software that runs on it. No one buys a Mac for OS X. Rather, they buy it to use the software available for the platform. This is the reason why I don't see an EeePC as being a competitor to the likes of the MacBook. If something won't run your software then you need to go through a switching process and people generally aren't prepared to do that. An EeePC is much more of a competitor to other Linux-based Notebooks, or cheap PCs if it is running XP. So, Apple may not increase its sales at the current rate over the coming years because its products are relatively expensive, but it also is unlikely to lose existing customers to other platforms due to the hassle of switching.

Aside from that I agree with your position entirely.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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