DailyTech previously reported that Apple was leaving Macworld, and would not be attending the trade show in 2010. The announcement sounded rather strange, as Macworld is built entirely around Apple and has always been Apple's podium for big announcements.
Now there are reports that sources at Apple have leaked the real reason for Apple's departure from Macworld -- Apple will be headed to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2010. AppleInsider says its sources report the move to be a done deal. The shift seems logical, as it would represent Apple moving to a larger stage, but it is still somewhat surprising as CES has always been dominated by Apple-rival Microsoft, with Bill Gates and now by CEO Steve Ballmer delivering opening keynotes.
The change would mark the end of an era for Apple. Over the course of Apple's run at Macworld it announced big products like new iPods, the iPhone, and the MacBook Air. And while Apple was burned for failing to announce a big new product this year, its yearly product announcements have generated enormous buzz. Meanwhile Microsoft has had a bigger stage, but has failed to capture quite as much media excitement at CES, arguably, with the exception of this year which saw Windows 7 debut to much enthusiasm.
Thus the upside for Apple is that it has the opportunity to steal the show at a bigger stage and provide better direct comparisons to its competitors. However, there are also significant potential downsides. Traveling to and showing at CES will be more expensive for Apple. Further, it risks being outdone if it does not conjure up the types of big announcements it’s been known for in the past. Finally, it has to face off against a recently reinvigorate Microsoft for the headlining spot.
For consumers, the most interesting thing about Apple attending CES is the chance to get more direct product comparison. OS X Leopard will face off against Windows 7, while the iPhone will face the BlackBerry Storm, Palm "pre", and others. Amid tough competition in all its business, except the dedicated MP3 player market, it should be interesting to see how consumers view Apple's products stacking up against the competition.
The move, if indeed true will help to cement the Consumer Electronics Show as the world's premier stage for tech world announcements. However, it will also put the Macworld's show in future jeopardy. Sources report space at CES 2010 will be save for businesses selling Apple-related products, such as iPhone app developers and peripheral makers. With these brands leaving Macworld for CES 2010, it remains to be seen if Macworld, already reeling from a bad economy, can survive.