After more than a decade of using the Macworld expo to launch now-legendary products such as the iPhone, iPod and Macbook, Apple has announced it will no longer be a part of the gathering. CEO Steve Jobs has already relinquished his spot on the agenda for next month's expo to another Apple executive, and after that Apple will pull out altogether.
The company says that the proliferation of its successful retail stores and its online presence renders trade shows like Macworld obsolete, and that it no longer needs them to communicate with consumers. Analysts said the move makes sense for Apple, which has seen diminishing returns from the shows in recent years.
Of course, the decision does nothing to quell speculation that Jobs, who underwent successful treatment for pancreatic cancer in 2004, is seriously ill. Apple representatives decline to comment on the subject of Jobs' health, calling it a private matter.