I can't comment on Steve Jobs health. I can only wish him well. But, I can tell you why I actually think the long-term pullout of MacWorld makes complete strategic good sense for Apple.
Follow the logic train, why dontcha'...
- Apple does a lot of marketing.
- Every piece of marketing Apple puts out is scrutinized to make sure it lives up to the Apple brand (not that I'd know). So, they need quality talent to produce that marketing. And quality talent is neither unlimited, nor easy to bring up to speed.
- Marketing is for selling stuff. When do people buy stuff? Christmas. Lots of work for the Apple elves to do.
- MacWorld is for selling stuff. When is MacWorld? A week and a half after Christmas. Lots of work for the Apple elves to do.
- Reason #3 + Reason #4 = December must suck in Cupertino
- WWDC has been becoming a really popular event over the last few years.
- WWDC isn't a week and a half after Christmas.
- Apple owns WWDC. They don't own MacWorld.
- WWDC stands for Worldwide DEVELOPER Conference.
- The world is shifting toward a collaborative economy. This is a major change that means innovation no longer comes from just inside of companies, but from the communities surrounding them. Read Wikinomics if you don't believe me.
- Developers have created 13,000 apps for the iPhone since Apple released the API a handful of months ago. This is where the driving force will come from that will maintain Apple's leadership in innovation in the years to come. IMHO, this is a major strategic shift for Apple—and the absolute right one.
- WWDC has a stage that will work just fine for announcements.
- Regardless of Steve's health (which I hope is fine) he won't live or work forever. The Apple brand (and stock price) then cannot be tied so tightly to "The One" forever either.
- If I'm right and this is the first step in a major strategic shift for Apple, it's as good a time as any to start the brand transition from Apple's innovation comes from Steve to Apple's innovation comes from the Appleverse. (I just mentioned to my wife that I was writing this post and she says to me independently "they've got to wean the world off of Steve eventually—the man sneezes and their stock price drops 10 points!")
- Last week no one was talking about MacWorld. This week, I am.
My two cents, anyway.