As Apple (AAPL) Pulls From Macworld, Its Shareholders Miss The Point

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As Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar". It is not always a symbol for a part of the male anatomy. It is a smoke, a pleasure, something to do outside to get away from the family. Don’t read between the lines. Apple investors should learn more from Freud.

Trade shows are a poor place to do business. Most of the attendees drink too much and carry on in other ways. All the exhibits make it too distracting to have long meetings. Moving a big booth to a show and having people to answer questions twelve hours a day can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Consumer Electronics Show, the largest trade show in the world, will be sparsely attended this year, at least by exhibitors. The recession will be part of that, but the event was always attended by a lot of tourists in Las Vegas who were never going to buy anything.

Now, Apple (AAPL) says that this January’s Macworld will be its last. Shares dropped over 5% on the late news. The other bit of concern came when the company announced that Steve Jobs would not be around for the last event.

"Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways," the company said.

Conspiracy buffs and most of the media will see some dark meaning to all this. But, that is a waste of time and effort. Trade shows were never a good way to help companies make money.

On the Jobs front, the man may have nothing spectacular to debut. Since he never shows up in public without a new blockbuster product, he may be dodging the show because he has nothing to show there. Or, he will be on his winter vacation.

Douglas A. McIntyre