CEA: Apple's not exhibiting at CES

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Despite what you may have read in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, Apple isn't slated to attend the Consumer Electronics Show in 2010, nor will CEO Steve Jobs have a speaking role in a CES keynote. That's according to the company that puts on the trade show, responding to a Wall Street Journal blog post that's created a whirlwind of speculation.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal's Digits blog, Ben Charny recounted a meeting between Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)—the trade association which runs CES—and journalists which happened in the Bay Area earlier this week. "Apple plans to attend the show's 2010 version, marking the first time in memory the Cupertino, Calif., consumer-electronics giant will be there," wrote Charny.

"Apple is a member of the trade association, but they are not signed up as an exhibitor for CES," said Jason Oxman, senior vice president of Industry Affairs for the CEA. Oxman also told Macworld that while Steve Jobs had been invited to speak at CES, the organization has not yet received a reply.

A 25,000 square foot area—the iLounge Pavilion—has been set aside to showcase Mac, iPhone and iPod products, specifically from third-party vendors, Oxman said. Apple itself is not featured there.

Charny, whose record of accuracy on Apple news is, well, spotty at best, offered no clear attribution for the news that Apple planned to attend CES 2010—something that's been speculated upon for months, ever since Apple said it was dropping out of Macworld Expo.

That was enough, however, for tongues to get wagging on the Apple Web. Within hours, publications focused on matters Apple had linked to the story, propogating this meme with a speed that rivaled the spread of a venereal disease in a brothel.

Only one problem: Charny was, uncharacteristically, talking completely out of his butt.

Ryan Block, co-founder of gdgt and editor emeritus of Engadget, drove a stake through the vampire's heart with a blog posting of his own in which he describes attending the same dinner as Charny but not hearing the same thing.

Chris Nutall of the Financial Times offered a transcript of that meeting, as did Ryan Kim, blogging for the San Francisco Chronicle. Both are absent of any mention that Apple would attend the show. In fact, Shapiro is quoted by both as saying, "Apple does not have a booth formally."

For what it's worth, Charny's blog post has since been updated, and the offending comment about Apple attending the show has been removed, along with a correction. But the damage—at least to the Wall Street Journal's credibility—seems to have been done.

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