Why Apple won’t exhibit at CES

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A few rumors have been circulating around the internet lately that claim Apple will exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2010. Apple announced in mid December that 2009 would be their last year at Macworld, a conference and expo similar to CES (and also held in early January) that focuses on the Apple community. While some would say that exhibiting at CES is a move towards the “industry standard” (something Apple has been close to achieving for several years now), there are several reasons why this rumor simply isn’t true.

Apple’s original press release sent out in December clearly explained the reasons for their departure from Macworld. Take a look at this statement, shown below (emphasis added):

 

Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

Apple has been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris.

Since CES is nothing more than a trade show, it would go against all of Apple’s reasoning to start a relationship with CES. When talking to David Pogue of The New York Times recently, Phil Schiller mentioned it was almost impossible to come up with a “dazzling” new product every January (Apple has always unveiled new products at their keynote, held at Macworld). In the unlikely case that Apple was to go to CES, I seriously doubt they would present a keynote there, instead opting for a booth or display from within the expo itself. – r.

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