Macworld's return to Boston sours Apple

update Plans are afoot to move the East Coast home of Macworld from New York back to Boston--and Apple's not pleased. It says it may not take part.

updateIDG World Expo said Thursday that it plans to move the East Coast installment of Macworld Expo back to Boston, but Apple Computer says it won't be taking part.

After weeks of hinting that the event was headed back to Boston, trade show promoter IDG is making the move official at a press conference there. However, Apple quickly issued a statement saying it opposes the move and may pull out of Macworld as early as next year.

"Today IDG announced plans to move Macworld New York to Boston in July of 2004," the company said in a statement. "Apple disagrees with this decision, and will not be participating in Macworld Boston. Since IDG is no longer investing in New York, we now need to re-evaluate our participation in Macworld New York 2003."

The company said it will participate in Macworld Expo in San Francisco, scheduled for January.

IDG first suggested this summer that it was considering a move, citing the rising costs of hosting the show in New York. The East Coast version of the twice-yearly Mac show was held in Boston for 12 years, before moving to New York in 1998.

Following Apple's statement, an IDG World Expo representative said the company had no indication from Apple that the Mac maker would pull out of the show if it was moved to Boston.

"Apple remains an important partner for Macworld and IDG World Expo has been in discussions with Apple officials for some time about the move back to Boston," the representative said. "Since we just heard of Apple's position, we can only speculate about their reasons, which may be driven by their financial situation."

The trade show promoter said it has inked a three-year deal with the city of Boston and the city's new convention center to host Macworld. It also has the option of a two-year extension.

Boston has made a number of concessions to win the show from New York, including discounts on various services, reduced hotel rates and use of several city facilities.

"I am proud to announce that Macworld is coming back to Boston, where it was born and where it belongs," Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement.

An Apple representative declined to comment further.

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