2009 Macworld Expo in a Nutshell: The Non-Show Report | iLounge Article


2009 Macworld Expo in a Nutshell: The Non-Show Report

Forgive us, dear readers. We have bad news to share.

As has been the case for years, we came to Macworld Expo with a team of editors who looked forward to sharing at least some exciting news with you from the keynote speech, the show floor, or from off-floor events. Our hope, of course, was that we would hit the floors of Moscone Center, discover a wide variety of new, interesting accessories and applications to share with you, and bring you one of our extensive show reports packed with details and photos.

We came. We saw. And after posting 400-some photos, we honestly didn’t feel like it was worth the effort to write about most of what they contained.

Our editors attended the keynote, looked over both of the show floors, and peeked into suites to see additional products that weren’t on wider public display. We think we’ve seen every booth of the 70-some vendors with iPod or iPhone products. And with extremely rare exceptions, we felt hugely let down by the state of what we saw.

There were plenty of completely forgettable cases. Lots of me-too speakers. Bunches of seen-‘em-before headphones. And more than enough nothing special car accessories. We began to compile our show report today around an hour and a half after hitting the floor, and realized that the majority of our summaries consisted of phrases like “generic,” “more of the same,” and “weird.” Little of it was worth sharing with you. Virtually none of it was worthy of our Best of Show Awards, which continue to be earned, not just handed out to anything with a cute name or simple idea.

Tomorrow, following judging that took place today and this evening, we will announce the Best of Show winners. Our editors concurred over dinner this evening that iLounge will not give out awards to mediocre products merely to adjust for the lower standards set by this show’s offerings. Instead, there will be far fewer winners than in the past. And the recipients of awards will be ones that are truly impressive in design, innovation, and/or value. Other products and companies will, for the first time in many years, receive disproportionately less of our coverage and attention based on whether they actually brought anything of value to this event. The days of giving every product or company a spotlight regardless of their actual value have come to an end. Your time, and our time, are too valuable to waste on the junk.

As our own Bob Levens correctly felt last month based on Apple’s departure from this event, the times are a’changin’. And we’ll be changing with them, based on your much-appreciated comments and suggestions. But as we change, we will continue to uphold the high standards that we’ve been known for; consequently, you can expect to see more focused and opinionated coverage from us going forward, rather than passive tolerance of the filler, junk, and hack journalism that have become far too common in the iPod and iPhone space. You and we both expect better, and in the weeks to come, we will do our best to make a positive difference.

« iLounge Announces 2009 Best of Show Winners

2009 CES + Macworld Expo Sneak Peeks »

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And this is the exact reason why they are pulling out of MacWorld.  Rumor driven deadlines and unrealistic expectations.


Posted by Steve in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 7, 2009 at 9:49 AM (CST)


Wow, I appreciate your honesty. Hopefully others won’t find your opinions to be “snobbish”.

Posted by Omar Correa in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 7, 2009 at 12:23 PM (CST)


Thanks for being so honest iLounge.  Now I see why Apple is dropping out.  It gets tiring seeing the market flooded with junk and just copy cats of every possible product any company could get out the door. 

I look forward to your future coverage of meaningful events and products.  You guys really help out and I hope you keep up with your great app store reviews since there are ~9,700 worthless apps in there cluttering it up.

Posted by Sting in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 7, 2009 at 1:51 PM (CST)


Man, now I am depressed.  Cheer up Jeremy, Apple will come up with something new soon for us! 

I do agree, there hasn’t really been anything too exciting that I have heard about coming out of Macworld.  The Apple offerings don’t really excite me too much….location tagging in iPhoto? So now I need to go through and tag location on all my photos since my camera does not do that and my iPhone takes crummy little photos that are barely worth saving. 

A 17inch Macbook? Nice for some people, but not too exciting. 

DRM free iTunes tracks? Ok we knew this was coming at some point and actually it is just upsetting people more by the slow, unannounced roll out and inability to update individual tracks rather than your entire catalog at once. 

The only item I was at all interested in was access to iTunes store via 3G (and thankfully EDGE for us earlier owner).

We were all let down by high expectations and hopefully we’ll get the updates that many of us have been pining for: cut/paste, photo texting, and native bluetooth voice dialing without need for a secondary application for the iPhone, a refresh of AppleTV, and a larger, tablet style for lack of a better description, device (at least those are my wish list items).

Keep up the good work iLounge and don’t get cynical on us!

Posted by TosaDeac in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 7, 2009 at 5:58 PM (CST)


Well after looking at the 400+ photos…it still would be nice to get more infor on some of the thing you guys saw.  Maybe in later posting.  I understand that more of the same is alway going to happen in such huge market.  Though innovation can be hidden in all the strangest places. 

What shock me is the speaker set you guys gave best of show.  Fugly doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Thanks for all the hard work anyway.

Posted by Funnyunkle in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 8, 2009 at 12:33 PM (CST)


There are now two articles up - the 2009 Best of Show Awards and the 20 Other Sights Worth Caring About. So you’ll find the things in those two articles that we felt were worth describing in greater detail.

We were in no way expecting Apple to deliver massive announcements at this show. The same is true of third-party developers. But that doesn’t change the reality that little took place here and that developers have been bailing on the 2010 show in significant numbers.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 8, 2009 at 7:38 PM (CST)


Good luck. You’re going to need it.

Posted by booleansplit in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 9, 2009 at 9:07 PM (CST)

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