In his latest column for Interactive Week , Matthew Rothenberg takes a look at Apple’s changing trade show and product introduction strategy, particularly for audiences in France and the U.K. His article is entitled Apple’s European Vacation.
Rothenberg noted Steve Jobs’ recent announcement that next month’s Apple Expo in Paris would see no new hardware product introductions from Apple. This is a most unusual change of pace given Apple’s typical secrecy about Jobs’ keynote announcements. Rothenberg suggests that Apple’s motivation is to avoid the same public disappointment that followed this past July’s Macworld Expo in New York, where rampant speculation about what Apple might announce at the show was more tantalizing than Apple’s actual announcements.
“In light of that marketing misfire, Apple’s executive branch is clearly reassessing the breaking point between suspense and mass psychosis,” said Rothenberg.
On a related note, Rothenberg pithily deflates a theory that Seybold San Francisco 2001 will feature a Mac hardware product announcement. The event happens the same week as Apple Expo and features Apple Vice President Phil Schiller as a keynote speaker. Posits Rothenberg, “Would Apple’s Johnny Carson really allow his faithful Ed McMahon to steal his keynote thunder right from under his enormous, televised nose?”
Rothenberg also calls Apple’s decision to appear at November’s MacExpo 2001 in the U.K. “a significant thaw” in the company’s attitude towards the British Mac market, where it has rescheduled and then canceled appearances at local Mac shows for the past several years.
“While Apple is still clearly focusing its European firepower on Apple Expo, it’s heartening to note that the company is prepared to temper its ironclad policy on localized trade shows as well as its tradition of pre-show secrecy,” said Rothenberg.