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Apple Businesses

Tokyo Macworld Canceled 68

jlechem writes "Wired is running a story about Apple pulling out of Macworld Tokyo. It seems they decided to pull out quietly several months ago. And once they left all the major Apple Developers followed, and IDG canceled the show due to 'lack of exhibitor interest.' Macworld Tokyo is the biggest gathering of Mac fans in the world. Although the three-day show draws about half the exhibitors of U.S. shows, it attracts double the number of visitors, about 190,000. Traditionally held in March, the Tokyo show has run for the last 12 years. After their threat to ditch Macworld Boston, you have to wonder why Apple is pulling out of these expos?"
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Tokyo Macworld Canceled

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  • Worrying (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Komarosu ( 538875 )

    Extremely worring news on one front, maybe Apple just an't comming up with the new goods to show off...

    Problem being, why an't they developing anything new?

  • by kraksmoka ( 561333 ) <.grant. .at. .grantstern.com.> on Friday December 06, 2002 @11:25AM (#4826702) Homepage Journal
    every mac user knows that a macworld means new hardware. each macworld makes it more difficult for Apple to sell existing supply of their machines. add that to the convention company woes, and it makes sense.

    we'll miss em if they go. maybe now they can finish that port of OS X for the Hammer

    • Still, though ... I imagine MacWorlds are an important community event. Apple may not have anything to show, but if their pulling out causes such a huge chain reaction, maybe they could/should just rehash some previous presentations/booths/etc? A big thing that Apple has going for them is their dedicated user base, and something like this might alienate them ... a bit.
      • i wholly agree, the community aspect of Macworld is very important.

        however, the company that does the shows IDG is having problems right now, there could be more to this than simply not wanting to spend the money.

    • propriate to say that every mac user *expects* great new hardware from a MacWorld. When the "next great thing" isn't delivered, everyone grumbles. Just look at posts to Macslash, Slashdot, and other Mac sites when we find out the only really new hardware is upgrading the Powermac line to dual processors or the new iMac *only* features a G4 w/ LCD across the board.

      People have come to expect something amazing every time when in fact no company can produce that many truly innovative gee-whiz-bang new products several times a year, every year, for years on end while meeting development deadlines and maintaining the secrecy needed to keep expectations going till the moment of revelation. People have been expecting too much - a revamped Newton, a move to AMD procs, an iPhone, an iMac 2 that will clean the house, give you mind blowing sex, cure cancer, teach the kids, and fit you into a size 3.

      And please tell me the OS X on Hammer line was a joke. That rumor has been completely discredited 20 times over. The most likely processor move is to the IBM proc because it offers much easier compatibility with existing software.
      • First sentence should read:

        "Its more appropriate to say ..."
      • i agree with you, apple has truly started to raise the bar in terms of expectations and performance. keep in mind that for every iTunes, there could be a cube lurking behind it. and yes, we would all like bigger better badder gizmos out of apple. why? cuz what's out there is oustanding.

        my comment about hammer is not a joke. yes the rumor has been discredited, blah blah blah. However, i would love to see apple make versions for both, and do something intelligent like selling a chipset, motherboard, OS X disk combo.

        it would blow m$ out of the water! i have seen Win die hard sysadmins go nutz over OS X. seriously, i'm helping one right now with his new mac, die hard!

        hammer/mac systems oem would be great too. finally some choices for the finest os around. please apple please.

        oh, almost forgot to mention. os x = darwin = bsd = portable. yes, developers would have to recompile for different architecture, but nothing as difficult as old school porting excercises.

        • And I'd love to see my cash strapped small town employ a free highspeed wireless service . . . but it won't happen.

          Moving to x86 or even worse, maintaining a dual platform on PPCs and x86s, would require as great a mov on the part of developers as it would the move to OS X. Major vendors are just now getting in the groove of OS X. Some, such as Quark, haven't made the move yet.

          Classic mode on x86 wouldn't exist. Programs would require more than a recompile. Emulation won't do. Apps, the OS, and Aqua have been optimized to take advantage of Altivec and other PPC specialties. Those portions would require rewriting.

          Apple is a total computer company. They're product isn't just the OS, nor is it just a computer company. They owe much of their success to the "It just works" idea. It just works because they maintain control over hardware in their systems. As soon as you start supplying a combo deal, people will add inferior components trying to save money and the Apple name looses some credibility and value.

          And OS X != Darwin. Darwin is an open source OS that runs well on PPC procs and is workable on x86. OS X is Darwin, Aqua, and a set of apps, most of which would have to be rewritten and recompiled for x86.

          MS will not get blown out of the water by a "simple" move to Hammer. Apple isn't trying to kill MS. I think it was in Wired or an essay by Cringely - Jobs just wants to run a successful company, make plenty of money, and be a thorn in Gates' side. Hating/Competing/Crushing MS takes too much energy, and it isn't worth it. Jobs has the satisfaction of knowing that people love his product, and that annoys Gates.
  • Darn you, natural selection, Darn you!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2002 @11:53AM (#4826905)
    My experience from them with past MacWorld expos in the USA is that they are not nearly as willing to negotiate as they should be. These folks had a serious cash cow in the marketing money they took by the truckload from dotcoms who had to be have the biggest most amazing booths at their tradeshow. I'm glad to see some of the heavy weights in the industry, such as recent Apple pull-outs and Adobe's non-show in NY last year, finally put these people in their place. Time for some new blood in the promotional events arena methinks. Chin up. This only means good things for smaller software development houses, what the dotcom era was _supposed_ to be about.
    • After their threat to ditch Macworld Boston, you have to wonder why Apple is pulling out of these expos? ... maybe it is the folks at IDG?

      Maybe it's the Internet obviating the need for a place to showcase new technology!

      I was at Comdex this year. Very sparse on Wednesday--and the locals were not liking the downturn in business. AAMOF, the most encircled booth on the floor was the metallic flashlight booth. Even the tap dancers on the way into the Microsoft "wing" had more people standing in front of it than any other display booth I saw that day.

      I had to reflect on the fact that nothing interesting was released that hadn't already been seen on the Internet. Nothing. Apple only needs one big media blitz a year (and it's easier to have a lot to show once a year than many times a year). . .so why waste the millions it would cost?

  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @12:02PM (#4826951) Homepage Journal
    i think it's pretty obvious why apple has decided to nix it's mac worlds, now that apple has OS X out the door, it doesn't need mac worlds to sell it, planned obselecence should do that nicely. starting around 2000, people started catching on and letting other people in on the big secret: don't buy hardware in the month(s) before macworld, you're gonna get screwed. mucho true. apple's hardware sales slow to a trickle, and then gush once new hardware is released, making it so that there's a ton of spare inventory laying around they have to sell almost at used prices. this is bad buisness. so they're getting rid of announcing new hardware at mac worlds, and more or less randomly announcing things as they come to frutition. i suspsect this makes hardware design deadlines more flexible, allowing for smarter and better designs also. the new iMac was the last big macworld announcment, the eMac was the first big non Macworld announcment.
    • by Spencerian ( 465343 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @12:57PM (#4827406) Homepage Journal
      Exactly.

      To add to this, Macworld are expensive to Apple. The booths, the personnel, their lodging, the equipment--Apple would rather shave some costs and attend only one Macworld--the one in San Francisco, where its closer to the corporate office and spends less to attend.

      New York is a big expense as well, but with an Apple Store in place (and the largest of them all), having a Macworld there would generate business and home sales, cushioning the expense blow of attending Macworld there. That's probably why Apple became angry at returning to a smaller venue such as Boston.
    • actually, apple has de-coupled the big announcments from macworld over the last year. remember the xserve announcement. it was just, whenever. the benefit of apple's secrecy about future development is that there is interest in all of their product launches these days.

      maybe mac has decided that more switchers ads and less macworlds is the right path for the times.

      anyway, now IDG can get onto planning WinWorld, if only they could figure a way to make the escalators crash and the elevators freeze . . . . .. .

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Heck, Customers had Apple's hardware announcement strategy figured out back in '94. I worked for an Apple Specialist and our sales always slowed the 2-3 weeks before a MacWorld show. Also, Steve has been weening the Apple users off of expecting MacWorld announcements since he re-took Apple.

      I think the real issue at Apple is the emmense cost of going to these shows. In this economy I am sure that Apple is looking for any way to cut costs. I would rather Apple put the money into R&D and marketing than a Mac only trade show. Going to MacWorld is preaching to the choir. They need to be enticing new people over to the platform.

    • the new iMac was the last big macworld announcment, the eMac was the first big non Macworld announcment.


      While it is true that people seem to assume *anything* can be updated at MW (unless it just was), the Origional Rev A Bondi iMac 233mghz was announced August 15th 1998. I think the iMac might be the biggest thing Apple released since 1984. Granted the iMac took nearly everyone by suprise, so it was not the usual "i'm not buying an ibook now if they might upgrade them next month", but you get my point.

      Apple very publically said a year or so ago that they are not going to save all big hardware releases for 2or 3 Expos a year (Tokyo has been the release for some big products). The last two years they used NYC as more of a hands on intro to 10.1 and 10.2 as much as a place to upgrade some of the existing hardware. NYC has not had a "knock their sock off" release since the Cube a few years back. yes, they did not sell well, but it was a huge crowd magnet.


      All that being said i find it unfortunate that MW Tokyo is bagged for 2003. The turnout is not that of the US expos, but they Mac users in Japan are generally quite dedicated. I always heard Jobs loved to go into Sony's home territory and and be able to win over a crowd (like releasing the TiBook there). The show also is usually used by a lot of 3rd parties to show off some cool hardware. Everything from the newest Epson printers (that the USA will not see for months) to the clear iBook modification parts. oh well..... maybe it'll be back for 2004.

  • Allow me... (Score:4, Funny)

    by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @12:12PM (#4827017) Journal
    Macworld Tokyo is the biggest gathering of Mac fans in the world.

    was

    Although the three-day show draws about half the exhibitors of U.S. shows,

    drew

    it attracts double the number of visitors, about 190,000.

    attracted
  • by agentkhaki ( 92172 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @12:16PM (#4827042) Homepage
    Apple's biggest problem, and what I believe is the reason for them pulling out of these trade shows, is simply that they can't keep up - ie produce new stuff worthy of the expense of attending the show, putting on a presentation, meeting strick show-time deadlines, etc.

    Here's why in one word: Motorola

    What Apple should have done is made one big fancy switch all at once. In other words, they should have gone with a new processor producer *before* they started coding OS X. That way, software producers who would have had to re-write the code for the new OS anyway could also take into account the new processor architecture.

    Right now, unless someone else (likely IBM, but when?) can produce the PPC chips, Apple is stuck with Motorla and their craptastic ability to produce new, faster processors. Sure, OS X screams on a dual 1.25 GHz system compared to the 450 MHz I'm running right now, but Windows 2000 also screams on a 3.0 GHz system when compared to a 1 GHz system.

    The point is, Apple can't switch to a new architecture now as it would mean software producers would have to once more re-write software they just re-wrote for OS X, and those who haven't gotten that far yet would be back to square one. This is, in short, a problem.

    Furthermore, Apple's own 'Think Different' ideaology might be turning around to bite them in the ass. Here they are, presenting this new OS to Windows users and saying "Switch. We're different. And better. And we'll give you cool stuff." But people have short attention spans. If Apple doesn't put out new/cool stuff on a really regular basis, people wonder if Apple is still inovating.

    I don't think any what I just wrote is clear. Sigh...
    • During the current OS X transition, Apple needs the G4 architecture to support legacy software. Not just in Classic. Many users still boot OS 9.

      Once OS X is fully adopted, Apple could release hardware based on another architecture with no Classic support. App vendors would need to recompile Carbon/Cocoa apps into "fat" binaries.

      But who knows...if Intel continues to push Pentium performance, maybe a G4 emulator could smooth the transition, like the 68K emulator that shipped with the first PPC macs.
      • I agree and disagree.

        Had Apple simply done a big, fancy switch, they could have included a G3/G4 emulator for running OS 9 / Classic apps. Anyone wishing to stick with OS 9 would stick with their current computer, or buy a new one and run things in emulation, which is no problem since Apple would have wanted (at the time, and now *definately* does) to phase out Classic anyway. In other words, Apple has no real reason to keep those people still wanting to run Classic happy.

        Anyone wishing to run the new operating system would have to buy a new system as well - this would be true anyway since OS X requires a heftier computer to do it's thing.

        I want to write more, but I have to run. More later, then.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Hi Loser. Very good troll. Just so everyone reading this can know, most of the G3 chips these days are actually being made by IBM.
    • I don't think this would work. "Classic" would have been 10x harder to make work, and it working well would have been another issue entirely.

      So, no one would have upgraded to OSX. No developers would have hurried to carbonize applications. Macs would drop from 5% marketshare to 1%.
  • why pull out? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BigBir3d ( 454486 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @12:17PM (#4827045) Journal
    Apple has not given its employees a pay raise in 2 years. They just laid off a few people.

    They are cutting all unnecessary costs.

    The internet is taking away from the importance of expo's, as are the Apple Stores.
  • by derinax ( 93566 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @01:01PM (#4827436)
    Apple is as active as ever with the events that count, events that my company helps manage. They sponsor many of the O'Reilly events, as well as (for example) the recent Macromedia DevCon in Orlando.

    Apple's quite generous with the hardware at these events, rivalling the amount of equipment found in the largest tradeshow booths.

    This, and the fact that Comdex is on the skids (how's CeBit doing?), really just points to the fact that vendors everywhere, Apple included, are realizing that the best way to reach real customers is through smaller, targeted, developer-oriented events.
  • by bay43270 ( 267213 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @01:02PM (#4827455) Homepage
    There was a lot of talk after the last Comdex that trade shows may be dying all together. Since the main purposes of the trade show have always been announcements and demonstrations, the internet has made a major dent in their usefulness. Tech companies used to use the shows to band together their announcements. The release of several products at the same time increased the odds of tv airtime. Now, with specialized media and a 24 hour news cycle, there isn't as much a need for it. In fact, its now better to announce a product during a dry spell in the news week.
    • Exactly right -- the Internet is a big technology expo. Most of the stuff on the Internet is related to technology (er, the PG and lower rated sites, at least), which makes sense because the people publishing to the web like technology (generally).

      This is why geeky things named with common words appear at the top of Google searches. Examples:

      The first sites listed for these common words are technology sites. Wierd, isn't it?
  • by JGski ( 537049 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @02:09PM (#4827966) Journal
    As someone who has been a marketing droid, tradeshows are not an effective use of marketing money when you brand is well established - it doesn't tend to generate new leads or customers because most of the people that go are already existing (in Apple's case, also loyal) customers. A marketing investment *should* translate into sales, immediate or repeat (this is the post .com era, right?). There can be post-sales value in a "user group" sense but there are often better ways to sustain customer loyalty, particularly for commodity products, which PCs including Macs have become. JGski
  • It seems to me that the people who pay attention to MacWorlds the most are Mac Zealots. These people are going to buy a Mac no matter what. Why should Apple spend all this extra money to sell to people who are going to buy regardless. With "times as they are", you have to cut costs.

    <footnote>
    Speaking of "times as they are", are times really that tough for everyone or are we being hood winked into missing raises and doing without when things aren't that bad? Maybe this isn't intentional, it could be that people have gone from being ultra liberal with spending to ultra conservative. Even in my company which has always been slow to spend, things have cut back. What's the real reason behind all this?
    </footnote>
    • Re:Cost! (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think a lot of companies are using the current 'changes' in the economy to trim a lot of the fat that has developed over the past few years, as companies grew more and more gluttanous and swallowed more and more workers, many of which became redundant. Now, with the changes that are happening in accounting practices and such, companies must cut some costs, so that way the books still look good for the stock holders. It is a vicious circle, but the things will get better in the next year.
  • by Daleks ( 226923 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @04:31PM (#4828404)
    In some article involving a ranking member of IDG, a conference call/phone conversation with Steve Jobs is quoted or paraphrased saying that he didn't know if he could make enough new product announcements twice a year to warrant two major US expos. Sounds reasonable enough.

    Another reason why the expos are a hassle for Apple is people read all the rumor sites and expect ridiculous products (I've been waiting for a 2Ghz G5 for some time now.) to be released. When they aren't released, customers get pissed and blame Apple. It's a joke. One rumor site (I don't want to give them advertising.) once posted an article about a possible join effort between Apple and Lucent to produce a wireless product. The source? A Lucent commercial that shows people using Mac's. It's no wonder Apple lets their lawyers loose on these guys.

    Now if only Mr. Google would help me find that darn article...
  • i admit, its odd for apple to not be at macworld, but who puts them on? is it apple? from my understanding it is not. so it makes total sense for apple to not go to one. i'm sure it costs a nice chunk of change for them to do their thing and if they dont have anything "new and improved" to offset that cost, what is the motivation? we've all seen the new goods apple has right now. give em some time to get something new. they just revealed a lot of new goods this past summer so you cant expect another load of them only 6 months later.
  • It`s same thing happen about mac world tokyo....

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