Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Apple to Hub: Drop dead. (Originally posted 10/18/02 at 10 a.m.) So, is Apple's refusal to follow the Macworld trade show from New York to the Menino Memorial Mausoleum (a/k/a the Boston Convention Center) the last word? Or is it just a negotiating ploy? Given the hype by city officials and the local media over Macworld's return after a five-year absence, yesterday's news that Apple won't be coming qualifies as a disaster bordering on a catastrophe. And judging from Hiawatha Bray's piece in today's Globe, there's not much chance of Apple honcho Steve Jobs's changing his mind. But is that really the case? The Herald's Scott Van Voorhis reports today that Macworld organizer Charlie Greco will resume talks with Apple next week, after "a three-day 'cooling-off' period." Who's to say the mercurial Jobs won't change his mind? As one perceptive poster on the geek-news site put it:

It's not like Apple is doing so well that they can afford to play the role of protester. Don't they think that if they stay away from the east coast trade show because "IGN [the Macworld organizer] is no longer investing in New York", there might be a significant number of people on the east coast who decide not to invest in Apple? Especially after Boston lobbied hard to bring the trade show back, this is definitely a slap in the face. Apple deciding to take their ball and go home just doesn't make any sense. today points to a report on that offers an answer to the first question I had, namely: Why didn't Macworld officials get this all settled with Apple ahead of time? Answer: They did, only to have Apple sandbag them yesterday. The piece quotes "sources not a part of either IDG or Apple but close to the negotiations with convention organizing groups in New York and Boston" as saying that "IDG had received a vote of confidence from Apple to move the show to Boston some two weeks ago and that the about-face by Apple was 'a shock to everyone,' a source said."'s prediction: Apple will use whatever leverage it can to squeeze a better financial deal out of Macworld in return for its agreeing to come to Boston -- or, failing that, will start its own trade show with the help of another company. (Not much of a prediction, given that it pretty much covers all the bases.)

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