User-Agent: *
Allow: /

Custom Search

Jumat, 19 Desember 2008

Apple doesn't need Macworld. But the small vendors at Macworld need Apple.

by Sascha Segan
In ditching (and probably killing off) the Macworld trade show, Apple is right about one thing: they don't need trade shows to get their message out. The problem is, the hundreds of smaller vendors at Macworld do and Apple's departure is a big "screw you" to the idea of an ecosystem of partners.

Big vendor announcements are the hooks that get press to a trade show, but the real value to CES, Macworld, and such is for the little guys. These are the apps developers, accessory manufacturers, and startups whose e-mails most press and retail buyers automatically delete because our plates are already full and we haven't heard of these companies.

On the trade show floor, the little guys get another chance. They can literally put their products in front of the eyeballs of thousands of trapped press, analysts, retail buyers and industry partners. Yes, everyone whines about the cost and stress of trade shows, but they're a major way to break through automatic junk-mail filters. There's something much more immediate and compelling about physical presence compared to an anodyne e-mail or yet another yawner of a Web site.

By scheduling announcements at Macworld, Apple provided the fertile soil for an ecosystem of partners to grow around them. Nobody wants to miss an Apple announcement, because everything they do is perfect and the best thing ever. (I am only half joking.) The Apple announcements created the buzz that nurtured hundreds of little booths filled with clever software products and outlandish iPod cases. With Apple gone, only the extreme Mac faithful will bother to visit – which pretty much dooms the show, and dooms the chance for these smaller vendors to get their products on a mainstream stage.

Macworld was a particularly nurturing atmosphere for small vendors because it was a smaller show that still attracted nationwide attention, thanks to the Apple announcement. CES is so huge that it can be hard to break through the noise (though it's still better than e-mail blasts for many companies). Other smaller shows, like the doomed CeBIT America, couldn't get attendees because they lacked a hook. But Macworld was a little more intimate, had a great hook, and promised an intense stream of Mac-related news.

Apple has never played well with others; they prefer to completely control their partnerships and channels. Witness the App Store: Apple decides which apps get included, Apple decides which apps get promoted, and Apple puts their favorite apps in their own omnipresent advertisements. In their abandoning-Macworld announcement, Apple calls their stores mini trade shows, and they're right on one level – the stores are mini trade shows completely controlled by Apple. Macworld wasn't. Anyone could get a booth at Macworld if they paid the entry fee. Not true with the Apple stores, where you have to be one of the chosen few.

Apple prefers to operate as a completely controlled command economy, dependent on no one else. Macworld was an independent player of a trade show, full of independent players, little guys who wanted to piggyback on Apple's success with their own creativity. They're going to lose that chance, as I can't see the show continuing without Apple.

Like my boss Lance Ulanoff, I can't see this backfiring on Apple at all. Nothing has backfired on Apple in years; everything they do is perfect, apparently. And Apple doesn't need much fresh new third-party Mac software or many iPod cases to sell Macs and iPods. Even so, let's just take a moment to think of the little guys.

SOURCE :,2817,2337109,00.asp

0 komentar: