Today Apple surprised everyone with the announcement that this year’s Macworld will be their last. Apple has been scaling things back for some time now, but the real shocker is that Apple’s last opening keynote at Macworld will be Jobs-less.
Jobs has been dropping hints of a Steve-free future in past keynotes by bringing other speakers in on the fun. I just didn’t think the transition was complete, and maybe it’s not. Maybe Apple is testing reception of a non-Jobs keynote. Obviously we don’t wish this to be the case, but maybe it’s Jobs’ health that’s the real reason for his absence. In any event, I think I speak for the entire Apple community when I say…Steve, you will be missed.
Even though Steve isn’t scheduled for the keynote, I don’t think he’ll be completely absent. He might be there watching, he may stand up to talk for a few minutes. Even if he’s not there, he’s who everyone will be talking about…unless Phil kills it.
So the pressure is on Schiller’s shoulders. Since there’s no reality distortion field to fall back on, the announcements need to be phenomenal. Hearing about the success that is the iPhone 3G is great and all, but we feed on product announcements. A less than stellar keynote could really dampen the fun of the whole week. And if a subpar keynote were to take place, Steve’s absence would cast a shadow over Macworld, and ever worse, perhaps over sales.
I’ve got a suggestion for you, Phil. If you’d like to remove any doubt from our minds about this keynote, if you’d like to begin Apple’s final Macworld San Fransisco to roars of applause, start it off something like this… “I know you were expecting Steve today…but instead I brought along another one of my friends…the MacBook Touch.”
Does it make you sad that Steve won’t be giving the keynote for Apple’s final Macworld? Is this a sign of things to come? Is Schiller on the path to stepping in for Jobs when he leaves? What does Apple need to do now? Leave your thoughts in the comments.