Apple don’t need no stinkin’ Macworld Expo!

 

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I was as shocked as the next guy when I read last night’s news about how Apple will pull out of Macworld Expo after next month’s shindig, and the double whopper (with cheese) that Steve Jobs will not be doing the keynote address we’ve all come to know and love.

However, Don Reisinger at CNET.com hit the nail on the head this morning when he wrote about Apple starting to lose its innovative touch. Almost two years ago, Steve Jobs stood on stage at Macworld Expo and introduced us to the iPhone. Since then, each keynote or new product announcement has felt woefully underwhelming, as I blogged about with the new iPods back on September 19.

But I think this has a lot to do with Apple getting so many things right to begin with: the simplicity of the iPod, the possibilities of the iPhone, even nailing down Mac OS X last year with Leopard 10.5 (even though it took a couple of revisions to work out the kinks). They’ve hit the ceiling for now, which they’ve almost admitted to by next year’s 10.6 upgrade, code-named Snow Leopard. Instead of whiz-bang new features, Apple is planning to use the new release to streamline the existing OS and make things run more efficiently. Which is fine, because they still have a little ways to go with the iPhone, although it’s come a long way in only a year and a half since it went on sale.

None of this is to say that Apple won’t surprise us all again at some point in the future. Many are afraid that the second coming of Steve Jobs is winding down and that the company will return to its not-so-glorious days before he made his Christ-like return in 1997, but I’m not so sure. True, Jobs will leave us one of these days… hopefully in a graceful retirement rather than at the hands of the pancreatic cancer he beat back a few years ago. But his current tenure has left an indelible mark on Apple, almost more than the one he and Steve Wozniak left when they created the company in the first place.

One other factor that nobody seems to be mentioning is the economy. Sure, Apple is mostly riding out the storm with their head held high. Plenty of cash in the coffers and there’s still a lot of growth in their business. But with my own waning income due to the sagging DVD business, I’m personally glad to see Apple backpedal on so many new product introductions, simply because I can’t avoid the temptation to whip out the credit card whenever something new and cool is announced. My wife will thank you, Apple, and so will I when those credit card bills roll around each month.

It’s the end of an era, and maybe even the prelude to the end of Macworld Expo, since so many vendors have started pulling out of the annual event (including Google, Adobe, Belkin and others). It feels a little bit like the old days of the VSDA trade show for the video business… I went a few times years ago and that show was enormous. Now, it’s a shell of its former self, with meeting rooms and not much else.

I’ll look forward to reading the liveblogs of the last Apple Macworld Expo keynote on January 6, 2009, at any rate. Current rumors point to a reboot of the Mac Mini and maybe an iPhone “nano” model, neither of which hold much interest for me personally. I’m just hoping they don’t come up with a swanky new Apple TV now that I’ve finally caved in and got one

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 at 1:39 pm and is filed under Apple Talk, Gadgets, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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