Perhaps they need to call it something else…

February 13, 2010

MacworldiPhone

How about iPhoneworld?

Ever since Apple last year said it would pull out of the Macworld Expo — the annual gathering of Apple-minded geeks and nerds from across the globe — there has been an undercurrent of curiosity: Will the show survive? Is it Macworld without Apple?

For iPhone application developers, the answer is a resounding yes.

This year, organizer IDG World Expo created a special Mobile Applications Showcase area with booths about the size of a cocktail table, and four apps per table.

The thought was that most iPhone developers don’t have the money to pay for a large booth with girls and schwag.

But the result was rather dramatic.

“It’s really the hot spot in the whole Macworld,” said David Barnard, founder of App Cubby, an iPhone application company.

MacworldMobileAPps

He said that when he first heard about the smaller booths, he rushed to sign up because he knew that he wouldn’t need much space to perform intimate demos on his iPhone.

“Macworld is getting a high dollar per square foot, I’m getting a great value,” he said, adding that even if the organizers raise the price for the tiny booth next year, he’ll still be the first to sign up.

Turner Kirk, marketing manager for Smule, said it was fun to rub shoulders with rivals.

“We all have apps out there but we don’t know about each other’s apps and we don’t communicate with each other.”

But, he said, whether or not his company — which made its mark with the flute-like Ocarina application — returns to Macworld will probably depend on how big the show is.

The little booths didn’t work for everyone though.

Interactive Frontiers president Christopher Hart said that if his company returns next year, they’ll probably try to get a bigger booth — their app analyzes golf swings.

(Both photos by Ian Sherr/Reuters)

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