Macworld/iWorld conference going on hiatus, no event in 2015

Jobs introducing MacBook Air at Macworld 2008

Jobs introducing MacBook Air at Macworld 2008

Macworld has announced that its Macworld/iWorld conference is going on hiatus and no show will take place in 2015. The show was previously planned to take place in March, which was a bit later than the typical January/February timeframe.

Early Tuesday, IDG World Expo released a statement noting that the venerable Apple-oriented trade show, Macworld/iWorld would go on hiatus and not be held in 2015 as planned. The contents of that statement are: “We are announcing today that Macworld/iWorld is going on hiatus, and will not be taking place as planned in 2015. Our MacIT event, the world’s premiere event for deploying Apple in the enterprise, will continue next year with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Year-after-year in the 2000s, the January Macworld conference was a staple for the Macworld community. Each year, Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs would hit the stage and introduce breakthrough products like the first iPhone, MacBook Air, and key software releases.

Since Apple cut off its affiliation with the conference in 2009, ahead of the 2010 non-Macworld iPad introduction, the conference has seen less attendees and excitement. Five years out from Apple no longer attending the conference, and just weeks after Macworld cut down its editorial staff to a bare minimum, today’s announcement is, unfortunately, not very surprising. Macworld’s magazine also recently came to an end.

The organization behind the conference, IDG, says that this is just a “hiatus,” so perhaps (hopefully) there will again be a time where the Macworld conference exists. The company’s MacIT enterprise focused event will still exist in 2015, according to the announcement.

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Slide to Unlock? Patented!

The United States Patent & Trademark Office this morning issued a patent grant to Apple pertaining to the familiar Slide to Unlock gesture. Remember, the now ubiquitous sliding move debuted on the original iPhone as a fun way to keep your device secured while in your pocket. “To unlock the phone, I just take my finger and slide it across. Wanna see that again? We wanted something you couldn’t do by accident in your pocket. Just slide it across – BOOM.”, Steve Jobs said entertaining the invitees at the phone’s unveiling in January of 2007.

The iOS chief Scott Forstall is credited as one of the inventors, in addition to Apple engineers Imran Chaudhri, Bas Ording, Freddy Allen Anzures, Marcel Van Os, Stephen O. Lemay and Greg Christie. Apple actually filed a patent application in December of 2005, a little over a year ahead of the iPhone introduction at the Macworld Expo. Of course, the work on the iPhone had begun a few years earlier.

It’s a bit silly, really, but blame it on the patent system. Be that as it may, nobody now gets to use the popular ‘Slide to Unlock’ without infringing on Apple’s patent unless a court rules it is invalid or prior art. Here’s a video of the 2004-5 Neonode N1m, showing a similar Slide to Unlock that existed before the iPhone (4 minutes in):

Interestingly, a Dutch court ruled that the slide to unlock patent was invalid because of this very device.

The company explains in the granted patent document:

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Macworld Expo begins transition to new “iWorld” brand, registration opens to the public

Like everything else Apple, the Macworld Expo is moving in the direction of iOS devices with a new name: Macworld|iWorld, “the ultimate iFan event”. Today, Paul Kent, the event’s vice president and general manager said:

“The brand is evolving from Macworld [Expo] to Macworld|iWorld to illustrate that the show is about the whole ecosystem of Apple products” The exhibits and conference sessions that have characterized past expos remain with Macworld|iWorld. But show organizers are also adding elements aimed at providing what Kent characterized as a “dynamic culture experience. We have a great core audience, but there’s a great opportunity to evolve the event.”

While there will be added focus on the iOS device ecosystem, Kent was adamant about saying the show was still heavily focused on the Mac Platform. In fact, there is added attention to Mac Developers with the introduction of a new package for OS X developers “to encourage them to display their wares at the show without the expense of having an elaborate booth”.

The event will also retain its training sessions under the new moniker “Tech Talks” and have film and music venues as well.

Apple stopped participating in Macworld Expos in 2009 which changed the dynamic of the show. This move is another major shift.

The event kicks off on January 26th. You can register at the prices listed below. (Note that you’ll need to enter your information to see prices.) That’s up to $100 off and the same as last year’s early pricing model. Discount expires December 5. The prices:

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