At first this may appear as an irrelevant press release, but upon reflection it’s actually very telling of how media relations are changing in light of social media & web 2.0 plus the effect it’s having on the live events industry.
Although Apple appears to rely entirely on it’s website & blanket media advertising for it’s official direct marketing (although I’m sure it feeds the rumour sites from time to time), I don’t know of any social networks or any other web 2.0 services such as Twitter, Flickr etc that Apple actively uses. But it’s followers are actively using these networks themselves & spreading the word for them, so Apple doesn’t need to waste its time & effort at large live marketing events as these do not show the same direct ROI as their own small scale events & webcasts, that utilises the rumour mills and the web to focus attention which leverages the most it can from the media & press coverage.
“Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. 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.
Apple has been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris.”
Full Apple Press Release