Steve Jobs keeps MacFaithful guessing

There’s not much doubt, health concerns aside, that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will give the keynote early next month at Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

But pity the show producers. You’d have to think they would love the chance to promote Macworld Expo months in advance as featuring a keynote by the best known CEO in tech with a penchant for taking the wraps off brand new products and technology. No such luck. For years, Steve J. has consistently left them waiting till a short time before the show, to confirm his attendance.

“We should have an announcement next week,” Charlotte McCormack, public relations manager for IDG Expo told me. “People think because we’re [Macworld Expo]( we know more, but we don’t have any insight into Apple’s plans and can’t comment.”

It’s not like the show has much choice; Macworld without a Steve Jobs keynote is just another tradeshow. In earlier years someone from IDG used to make some welcoming remarks before introducing Jobs. Now it’s strictly an Apple event with Steve firmly in control from the start.

“Even though it’s expected Jobs will be there, it’s never a given. It’s part of the drama,” Gartner analyst and veteran Apple watcher Mike McGuire told me.

Is it possible Jobs won’t show? A former Apple marketing consultant who asked not to be identified, told me “Nothing Steve does or doesn’t do would surprise me. Apple is very careful to connect Steve’s voice to news of substance and they wouldn’t put him up in front of an audience if they didn’t have that going for them.”

Apple brought out [new versions of its MacBook notebook line](/hardware/article.php/3777981/Apple+Refreshes+Entire+MacBook+Line.htm) as recently as October and no new iPhone announcements are expected, but Jobs could preview “Snow Leopard” the latest version of the Mac operating system due out later in 2009. There’s also the chance of new desktop Macs.

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