Apple’s decision to change its name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc. reinforced my nascent feelings about the company, and by extension, IDG’s independent conference for the Macintosh industry. Apple and Macworld Expo aren’t about computers any more. They’re all about consumer electronics.
Sure, in the Macworld North Hall there were a few enterprise exhibitors. Behind the main Apple pavilion in the South Hall (which was mainly showing off the iPhone) there were a handful of software development tools companies. However, they were lost in the maze of iPhones, Apple TVs, and iPod cases. Macworld is a consumer event, and Apple has declared itself a consumer electronics company.
I wouldn’t go to Nokiaworld to see their new phones, so why should I go to a conference to see the Apple iPhone? I’ll wait and see it in my local cell-phone store.
I wouldn’t go to TiVoworld to see their latest digital video recorder, so why should I go to a conference to see the Apple TV device? I’ll wait and see it in Best Buy.
Sure, there was some eye candy for people like me — you know, the ones who care more about computers than music players. Apple did demonstrate some neat features of “Leopard,” the next version of Mac OS X. But those were basically the same bits that Apple’s been showing for the past few months.
Apple’s announcement that two billion songs have been downloaded from its iTunes Store is impressive. But that’s not a reason to attend a conference. Neither is the opportunity to view yet another “I’m a Mac” advertisement.
One can only see so many MacBook carrying cases, iPod skins and people drooling about the iPhone to realize that Macworld has become simply irrelevant. I’m a big Apple customer myself: I’m typing this on an iMac, I carry a PowerBook, both are connected to an Airport WiFi hub, and there’s an iPod hooked into my car stereo. But there’s nothing for me at Macworld.