Apple at CES? Unlikely

A report that Apple wants to head down to CES just doesn't make any sense, given the company just backed out of one early January trade show.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read
A Stevenote at CES? Don't hold your breath. James Martin/CNET News

A report that Apple is planning a visit to CES next year had eyes rolling Friday morning from Las Vegas to Cupertino.

Cult of Mac reports, citing a source with "friends at Apple," says that Apple is planning to "go large" at CES 2010, now that Macworld is out of the way. The source called it a "done deal," noting that since Apple is really more of a consumer electronics company these days, the Consumer Electronics Show makes more sense.

Too bad nothing else in this report makes sense. Apple has never liked to participate in big industry conferences, steadily backing out of things like NAB and now Macworld in favor of holding its own events. Apple executives and managers rarely even show up at the kind of low-key industry roundtable discussions and panels that almost every other company in this industry adores.

Apple explained its decision to leave Macworld by saying that it doesn't need trade shows anymore to get its message across, given its network of retail stores. And Apple's Phil Schiller hinted that the company wasn't crazy about the idea of having to tailor news and product introductions around an early-January event, such as Macworld or CES.

The report says "if Apple were to be a presence at CES -- with Steve Jobs possibly giving a keynote speech -- it would no longer have to compete with CES for press attention." But that's not true at all; CES is so huge, that companies compete desperately with each other for attention at the show, adorning taxicabs with their logos, throwing lavish parties, and giving out all manner of silly free prizes.

Jobs would certainly make a splash at CES, but Las Vegas doesn't seem like his kind of town.

Updated 4:55pm - AppleInsider is also reporting that Apple plans to attend CES next year, so perhaps there is more to this story than I initially thought, stay tuned. Others think that the CEA, which puts on CES, is merely planning to have a booth or pavilion next year that focuses on the Mac and Apple in hopes of drawing Macworld exhibitors to Las Vegas.