(12-16) 14:18 PST CUPERTINO — Next month’s Macworld Expo will be the last one that Apple will be involved in, the company announced today, saying it no longer relies on trade shows to reach out to its customers.
In addition, the Mac, iPod and iPhone maker said CEO Steve Jobs will not be delivering the keynote address at this year’s show, one of the traditional highlights of the San Francisco event. Instead, Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, will address conference goers on Jan. 6.
Schiller’s presentation will be the last keynote delivered by Apple at Macworld, the company said.
The Macworld show, scheduled for Jan. 5-9 at the Moscone Center, has been a major destination for devotees of all things Apple. Last year’s show attracted about 44,000 people.
It’s also been a major showcase for the company as it expanded beyond just computers. Two years ago, Jobs took the wraps off the iPhone, building a tremendous amount of buzz around the smart phone, which eventually led to millions in sales.
Apple said the company has been steadily scaling back its involvement in trade shows like Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris.
“The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com Web site enable Apple to directly reach more than 100 million customers around the world in innovative new ways,” Apple said in a statement.
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