A Celebration & History of Macworld | iWorld

written by JMatula on January 30, 2013 in Mac Hardware and Special Feature


This week is the 28th annual Macworld event, billed as the “ultimate iFan event.” This celebration of all things Apple began in 1985, created by Peggy Kilburn and intended as a place for both professionals and casual users of Apple products to talk technology and technique. People could share experiences, new ideas as well as gadgets and peripherals to get the most out of their Mac experience.

It wasn’t until 1997 that things really ramped up for the event, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple and made several exciting announcements, including corporate restructuring and a partnership with Microsoft.  Since then the event has only grown every year in size and attention, with Jobs’ keynote every year being met with frantic anticipation as he used it as platform to introduce new products and ideas, as well as a “State of the Union” regarding Apple as a company.

Here’s a description of the modern Macworld | iWorld in their own words:

Macworld/iWorld is the world’s ultimate fan event for those who use, create, and love Apple products. Attendees will encounter a unique celebration of Apple technology-infused art, music, and film, as well as learning opportunities, and a shopping mecca in our exhibit hall filled with products and services for Apple users of all skill levels and interests. From home users, to artistic hobbyists and professionals, and the true Technorati—Macworld/iWorld gives attendees the chance to experience all that the amazing world of Apple-related tools can offer.

In celebration of one of the biggest events of the year for Apple enthusiasts, we wanted to bring you some facts and cool nuggets of history about this special event. 

  • It shares a name with Macworld, the most widely read Apple enthusiast magazine in North America. International Data Group runs both the event and the magazine.
  • The convention has always been held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, but prior to 2006, there were TWO conventions each year, the traditional San Fran event plus another later in the year on the east coast. 
  • There have also been Macworld events in Tokyo, London, and Paris.
  • The partnership with Microsoft in 1997 made Internet Explorer the default browser for Macs, as well as guaranteeing versions of Microsoft Office for the next five years.
  • iTunes and the PowerBook G4 (the MacBook Pro predecessor) were unveiled at the 2001 Macworld event.
  • Steve Jobs’ keynote speeches were affectionately known as “Stevenotes.” He gave them every year from 1997 to 2008.
  • 2007 was a huge year for Macworld: the iPhone was introduced, Apple TV was shown off and Apple officially announced the company’s name change from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple Inc.
  • An “Apple Gaming Pavilion” was featured prominently beginning in 2000, but since a lackluster showing in 2008, the fate of this gaming specific area has been in limbo.
  • In 2009 Apple’s Senior Vice President of Product Marketing Philip Schiller gave the keynote instead, as Jobs suffered from health-related issues.
  • Apple’s official participation in the event also concluded in 2009.
  • It wasn’t until 2012 that Macworld changed its name to Macworld | iWorld to included an emphasis on iOS devices.
  • This year’s event includes a music studio, digital art gallery, iPad sketch station, iPhone film festival and guest appearances from Fred Armisen (Portlandia, SNL), Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad discussing playing Jobs and Wozniak in the upcoming jOBS movie.

What do you think of Macworld | iWorld? Have you ever been and want to share an experience? Do you think it’s still viable and relevant without Apple’s involvement? With Mac gaming on the rise, should they put more emphasis on a gaming pavilion? Let us know in the comments!