For several years, Macworld Expo served as the stage for many Apple product introductions, such as the original iPhone in 2007. In a press release from December 2008, Apple announced that the 2009 Expo would be their last MacWorld exhibit. The popularity of their retail operations, and the Apple.com website enabled Apple to directly reach customers, causing the trade show to become a minor part of how Apple reached its customers.
Following the loss of Apple’s presence, the organizers of Macworld Expo refocused on third-party developers. For 2012 they’re looking to continue rebuilding the show with a rebranding that will emphasize the increased visibility of the iOS devices and software: Macworld|iWorld.
“The brand is evolving from Macworld [Expo] to Macworld|iWorld to illustrate that the show is about the whole ecosystem of Apple products,” said Paul Kent, the event’s vice president and general manager.
Even with the rebranding, Macworld|iWorld will retain a heavy OS X presence, with organizers introducing new packages to attract OS X developers.
Macworld|iWorld will be held at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco from January 26-28, 2012. Registration for the event is now open.