Apple announced today the MacWorld expo in January 2009 will be its last, the company will no longer attend future MacWorld conferences (if there are any). Furthermore, Apple also unveiled this year's keynote at MacWorld will be presented by Philip Schiller, the company’s SVP of worldwide product marketing, and not Steve Jobs.
The announcement send Apple's stock down 5.69 percent in after-hour trading as it fueled rumours that Steve Job may be sick again. CNET talked to Apple and heard Phil will be giving the keynote because it will be Apple's last year at the show, the spokesperson claims it doesn't make sense to make a major investment in a trade show they will no longer attend:
Apple representative Steve Dowling declined to comment on Jobs' health, a prominent topic of discussion this year. Jobs' keynote addresses at Macworld have become almost legendary events, launch pads for some of the company's most important products and strategies. His absence from what many in the Apple community consider their Super Bowl will once again revive rumors that Jobs is ill.
"Phil is giving the keynote because this will be Apple's last year at the show," Dowling said. "It doesn't make sense for us to make a major investment in a trade show we will no longer be attending."
Apple seems to be declaring that it no longer needs industry events like Macworld to get its message out. The company has 250 retail stores around the world that draw millions of people a week, and its Web site is among the top 10 sites, in terms of traffic, on the Internet.