A MacWorld Without Jobs

The announcement hit the tech world today like a ton of iPhones: Steve Jobs will not be appearing at =http://www.macworld.com/>MacWorld 2009 in early January and Apple is pulling out of future MacWorlds going forward. Everyone has an opinion on what this means and why it's happening. Theories range from the Apple company line (non-Apple trade shows are no longer necessary or relevant), to Jobs being unwilling to front a relatively newsless event, to a sign of the economic downturn, to a slow transition of power within the company to someone like Apple VP Phil Schiller, to (of course) the rumors about Jobs' health. Whatever the real reason(s) it's clearly a changing of the landscape. MacWorld has historically been THE place to witness Apple's big announcements and the most visible platform for its iconic CEO. It certainly leaves one scratching one's head. I'll try to post more thoughts on this tomorrow but in the meantime I'm curious to read people's comments.