MacWorld has changed a lot ever since Apple pulled out of the show. The once-mighty conference once saw the introduction of world-changing devices like the iPhone was reduced to little more than a trade show for iPhone covers last year. While strolling the halls during MacWorld 2012, I began to get a sense of optimism around the future of MacWorld for multiple reasons.
MacWorld 2012 still has a lot of case makers here but some of these are actually pretty darn cool. There were some iPad and iPhone stands which were custom built to attach to a guitar to help teach people how to play. If that’s not your flavor, there are cases with wallets built in or multiple iPad stands and docks. Take one listen to the Bang and Olufsen AirPlay-enabled portable speaker and you’ll be happy to see that there’s a showcase for all these iAccessories.
The accessories are an interesting part of the iPhone and iPad story, a tale which has helped to make Apple the most valuable company in the world. When we talk about the ecosystem advantage that Apple has over its competitors, we generally mean developers and apps but the uniformity of the iPhones and iPad enable a whole slew of interesting and cool accessories to sprout up around iDevices.
The mobile app showcase area could have been more flushed out at MacWorld, I thought. In fact, MacWorld 2012 is actually called MacWorld | iWorld and this shows how important the iOS part of Apple is becoming to the show and to the company.
MacWorld is never going to regain the glory it once had with Steve Jobs delivering a keynote to kick it off but I genuinely think there can be a bright future for this show. It’s still one of the only shows where I see a lot of people bring their kids, as its more fun than a trade show has any right to be. This year had people bouncing around on trampolines, Modest Mouse playing, a South Park art area and a silent disco to get the fun juices flowing.
By retaining that fun factor and placing a stronger focus on really good iOS apps and accessories, I believe the MacWorld 2013 could be a great event.