Cringely: Apple’s Macworld Expo exit has all the classic signs of a Steve Jobs temper tantrum

“Jason Snell, editor of Macworld (the magazine, which has nothing officially to do with Macworld the show… believes Macworld (the show) will be better off without Apple (the company). That’s a little like saying Minnie Mouse would have been better off ditching Mickey and going for a solo career,” Robert X. Cringely writes for Computerworld.

“Macworld is actually run by IDG World Expo, one of the many arms of the IDG tech empire (Macworld the magazine is one arm, Infoworld is another). IDG is like Shiva, the Hindu goddess of destruction, on steroids — and about as intractable,” Cringely writes.

“Jobs, of course, is the One Right and True Way in all things tech. He doesn’t lose arguments, he just ends them,” Cringely writes.

“So I suspect the explanation is far simpler. This abrupt announcement, coming just as the holidays descend upon us, has all the classic signs of a Jobs temper tantrum. Jobs wanted to change something major about the show. IDG said no, Steve said something like “Fine — see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya” — only with a lot more expletives thrown in,” Cringely writes. “Besides, Macworld needs Apple more than Apple needs Macworld.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Now, wait, which Cringely is this again? Oh, whatever. By now, we’ve heard every explanation under the sun, but we continue to firmly believe that the real reason why Jobs pulled out of Macworld Expo was the message he received last week via deep-space satellite: “Klaatu barada nikto.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]


  1. This sounds almost plausible. Except that we have always heard rumors of “the discussion” prior to noting “the fit” in the past. For example … “I want it in NYC”/”we want it in Boston” = “we won’t be coming”.

  2. I agree this sounds very plausible. Even if Apple was planning on doing macworld this one last time you would think Steve himself would have done the last keynote.

    It is entirely possible that Steve threw a temper tantrum and cancelled at the last minute.
    Although, somehow I think I agree with the other theories that say Apple does not have anything really good to show at macworld.

  3. It doesn’t have the signs of anything. The only thing we know is that this is the last one and that Jobs isn’t doing it. The reasons why could be one or more of any number options.

    Ultimately Macworld could be better off, it might suffer intially but it could let smaller developers shine more – especially with increased development for the iPhone meaning there are more Apple based titles than ever.

  4. 1) It costs a ridiculous amount of money to do these shows. It starts with paying several hundred dollars per square meter, so a large stand (say 50′ x 50′) is going to be $75,000 or so for starters.

    2) Then they start screwing you for electricity (at an exhibition in the UK recently, we got screwed for around $600 for each 1Kw connection for three days), internet access (a couple of thousand bucks), drayage.

    3) Now you have to build a stand.

    4) Then you have to dedicate ridiculous amount of managerial and technical resources, just so some spotty teenagers can come and paw at whatever Steve has just announced. Probably depleting the talent left at Cupertino to the receptionists, the post room and whoever fills the coffee machine.

    5) And you also have to align your product development plans to someone else’s timetable.

    6) And it’s becoming harder and harder to top the “last big thing” so that nobody is disappointed.

    Screw it. Use the Apple Stores. More people, more control, less pressure, less money.

  5. As I have said before, you invite a guest to come to you home for dinner and to bring the main course. Then you have you and your associates crap over the menu, complain on how it was cooked and rant because he didn’t bring a complementary desert.

    Not only that but you support a bunch of beguiling yahoos and criticize or ban anybody that comes to your guest’s defence.

    Apple doesn’t need Macworld.

    To Steve: Hold your own party. Just like your WWDC, build it and we will come. With bells on.

  6. @ MCCFR

    I heard that Apple was shelling out WELL over 1 Million to do a Macworld show.

    For Apple, this is just dumb. They get MORE attention I think by sending out media invites for a “Special Event”, throw in a little catch phrase that people will start running wildly at the mouth about what it could mean.

    They hold the special even where they please, at the price that suits them. It is a much better “bang for the buck” than Macworld.

    The fact that APPLE gets to decide when the release a product, and not the timing of Macworld deciding it is just icing on the cake.

    The Dude abides.

  7. I should add for clarity, “For Apple, this is just dumb.”. I was meaning, to continue to attend Macworld and waste precious resources (even though Apple has plenty in the bank).

    The Dude abides.

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