Macworld Thoughts

Well, I’m back from Macworld! For those of you who are interested, I thought I’d share a few thoughts. I’ve also included a few pictures I took.

I’ll give the extended version after the jump, but for those of you in need of a sound bite I’ll summarize.

It was very cool. I loved getting to talk to so many great people, especially folks who I’ve long known by their email address but not face to face! It was also neat to take part in something I’ve heard so many people rave about. I saw some very interesting things and got some excellent insight into the Apple market. All in all a very satisfying experience. Plus San Francisco is great so how could I go wrong!

So, on to the details…

Minor Disclaimer: As I write, please understand that we are first and foremost a mobile software developer. There was lots of amazing desktop stuff going on, but my focus (naturally) was on the mobile market. That said…

Companies and Products

There were a number of great mobile software companies there, some of whom we’ve known for years. Among these were our good friends at WebIS. What I did notice, however, was that for all the mind-share the iPhone has among consumers, that mind-share was not reflected on the floor of the dealer’s halls. There are lots of possible reasons for this, but it was something that stood out for me.

Real Contacts with Virtual Friends

It was GREAT to see some of our “virtual” friends in real life. In particular, we got to hang out with Steve Sande from TUAW and Jeff Scott from 148Apps . Both of these guys (and their sites) have been very helpful to us, and we really respect the work they are doing for the community as a whole. 148Apps has some exciting plans for the future. We look forward to their continued success. We also got to do a Podcast/Vidcast interview with Steve from TUAW. That was a lot of fun!

The Apple Presence

Obviously Apple’s presence was a big deal, including the “giant-black-cube-of-power” that dominated the south dealer’s hall. I’m not, however, as convinced as the media outlets that folks are O.K. with Apple leaving after this year. Folks were handing out “Bring Back Jobs” fliers on the street and there was just this sense that people almost didn’t believe that Apple wouldn’t be back.

As for the presence of iPhone amid the official Apple stuff, the “giant-black-cube-of-power” had one of three sides devoted to iPhone + iPods. There was a nice table with a bunch of iPhones and iPod touches on it.

Events and Parties

There were a number of great get-togethersI got to partake in. Stand outs include the iPhone Intelligence Party at Harlot and the TUAW get-together at the Thirsty Bear. It was also at the Harlot even that they announced the winners of the BestAppEver Sadly, we didn’t win, but just to get nominated in SO many categories was amazing. You guys rock. Thanks to everyone who nominated and voted for all your help!!

Other Cool and Fun Stuff

Of course I got to see something in person I’d only seen pictures of before…the eWallet icon in the Apple store window!! How cool is that?! I asked if we could have it when they were done with the display, but sadly the powers at Apple require that they destroy any display materials when the promotion is over. Ah, well.

 

 

 

 

And then there’s Beard PaPa, one of my favorite things about San Francisco. Mmmmmmm – fresh cream puffs. Although if anyone out there can explain to me the connection between delicious cream puffs and an old, smoking sailor, I’d love to hear it! (“Arrr! There be nothin’ like bakin’ cream puffs after a long day at sea!”)

 

 

 

All in all, a great conference and a ton of fun.

17 thoughts on “Macworld Thoughts

  1. Ellen

    Fun and interesting, I agree, but I think the days of big tradeshows are really over. There are too many other ways to get the same information, and travel just gets more painful and more expensive each trip. I went to CES after MacWorld, and it was much smaller than earlier years. Seeing the Palm Pre presentation was great, but I could have seen the same thing on my PC at home, and saved a lot of time and money.

  2. Duncan

    Marc,

    Can you give an example of what you mean by a lack of mind-share in the dealer halls? I know what the term means, but I don’t know to what you are specifically referring.

  3. Marc Post author

    @Duncan: Sure. Here is how I break down the iPhone/iPod Touch Focused stuff at Macworld.

    Skinners and Case Makers
    There were numerous case makers and skinners, but these guys mainly looked like iPod focused folks who happened to roll out some iPhone versions of their existing product lines.

    Desktop That Jumped on the Bandwagon
    Next up came folks who have desktop software but fired off an iPhone version. In other words, these aren’t mobile software developers or people focused on the mobile computing environment – instead these were folks that knew their desktop user base would probably want an iPhone version (and they could probably make some money off it.) The iPhone version always seemed like a “Oh yeah, and we have this.” Still – this wasn’t a large group at all.

    Actual iPhone Focused Developers
    These are people who are first-and-foremost, mobile software developers. There were a very small number. Compared to the dirth of applications in the store, the number was quite small. I’d say a dozen or less?

    Now, I KNOW this is “Macworld” and not “iPhoneworld”, but I really expected this to be the place for these mobile developers to get in touch with people. With a constant bombardment of iPhone ads, X thousands apps int he app store, iPhones popping up in the media, and every tech analyst doing at least 1 iPhone article a week, the trade show presence was significantly smaller than I’d expected. WWDC, for instance, was about 1/2 iPhone stuff.

  4. Paul

    You’re probably sick of this question, but any ETA on the eWallet desktop version for OS X?

    I really loved this app when I was a Windows/Palm user several years ago, and would love to move back to using eWallet with my Mac/iPhone.

    :)

    Thanks,
    -Paul

  5. Duncan

    Now I understand…I agree that’s surprising given that the iPhone seems to get more hype than any other Apple product. Thanks!

  6. Paul H

    No doubt many Apple customers will miss Steve Jobs’ keynotes at Macworld. The event provided an annual platform that over the last decade became a highly anticipated yearly ritual.

    Keynotes aside, the overwhelming majority of Apple customers have absolutely no concern whatsoever with the company’s participation, or lack thereof, at MacWorld — just as they had no lasting concern with its withdrawal from Boston/New York, London and Paris. All these events withered on the vine, as will doubtlessly happen in San Francisco. Within two years Macworld will be consigned to history, having died or morphed into another event.

  7. Marc Post author

    @Paul: Sorry, all I can say is that it’s in progress.

    @Duncan: No problem!

    @Paul H: What it sounds like you’re saying is that after Apple pulled out of a conference, it withered and died. Wouldn’t this suggest that the attendees cared a lot about whether or not Apple was there? In that, once Apple left, the customers stopped coming?

  8. Paul

    This is a bit off-subject. Although I have had eWallet for iPhone (Synched to a PC) since it was offered in beta, I continue to be completely blown away at the speed and accuracy with which eWallet (iPhone) synch’s to my PC eWallet. What a really great product!!

  9. Paul A.

    I am also quite happy with eWallet and bought it because the release of a desktop version for Mac was promised. That’s part of the value of this type of application—only entering the information once. Please press on with the development and release.

  10. SarahCat

    I have been an EWallet customer since 2002 (when I was a Windows sufferer), but after moving to Macintosh in 2005 and to iPod Touch when it became available, I have been patiently waiting for a Mac OSX version of EWallet because those of us with EWallet on Windows and Windows Mobile have large amounts of data to port.

    Still no announcement. If you aren’t going to produce an EWallet for Mac so I can port the rest of my data, I will sadly throw away my previous and current EWallet investments and find another product set that works with my office and pocket computers.

    I’m happy you had a good time at MacWorld, but I’d rather have heard that you are going to release a Mac OSX version of EWallet. So, are you or aren’t you going to have this product, please tell me so I can say my reluctant goodbyes and move on.

  11. Marc Post author

    @SarahCat: Actually we’ve made a lot of announcements about Mac eWallet! It’s in development right now. I’m getting another new build sometime this week I hope!

  12. Ranjana

    Mobile software developers or people focused on the mobile computing environment – instead these were folks that knew their desktop user base would probably want an i Phone version. So can u give me brief idea about this.

  13. Marc Post author

    @Ranjana: We are a company focused on creating mobile software. It’s always been our focus, and even though we offer desktop versions (very good ones I might add) our primary goal is to deliver the best mobile software product possible.

    Time and again, however, we’ve seen desktop software developers release mobile versions of their desktop applications. Although some of these are pretty good, it is very clear that these are “add-ons” to their primary product – their desktop software. Furthermore, as time passes these products almost always remain peripheral to the desktop software, receiving fewer updates and less attention, and seldom expanding to include other mobile platforms.

    Hope that helps!

  14. Surrey Photographer

    I was a bit disappointed with the Mac World keynote speech this year. In previous years we have had the iPhone and MacBook Air to name but a few. I didn’t think that there were any really exciting announcements in the same league this year.

  15. Displays Trade Show

    I think the product that they thought would be most exciting is the 19-inch Macbook. I was very disappointed though because the keyboard wasn’t expanded. Maybe next year will be a little better…oh wait.

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