The January classic will be bigger than ever and more comprehensive than in years past. But unless Apple makes an announcement, don't expect to get insider scoop on how to hack an iPhone at Macworld 2008.Ever since the iPhone debuted earlier this year, there have been several groups claiming to have hacked the iPhone... to allow it to run third-party applications. Either that or how to unlock it from a particular telecom's grasp. So with Apple's largest gathering coming up in January, are organizers lining up speakers with how-to lessons on phreaked iPhones?
"We work closely with our presenters and speakers and we would never present a session that would take people down a path where people could void a warranty," said Macworld VP Paul Kent.
That's not to say that a rogue session or two may still take place in the hallway somewhere or outside the two Moscone conference centers that the Macworld show will take over starting January 14. But, Kent says the conference will primarily focus on how end users can get the most out of their Macintosh first, iPhone second. Developers are expected to hear more about iPhone's Safari development environment and the Resource Center, but Macworld is primarily a consumer show.
Despite its Macintosh ties, Macworld has seen a great deal of buzz around iPod in the last few years. That wave may shift to the iPhone as the shows progress.
"We do have some classes for iPhone users such as our iPhone Supersession, presented by Ben Long and Christopher Breen," he said. "There will also be some iPhone products available on the show floor as well as vendors with their tips and tricks."
So besides the iPhone, what will be the hot topic in San Francisco in 2008? Apple's secrets aside, it might just be the buzzword of 2007: virtualization.
"What started out as a topic of interest last year has become more important this year," noted Kent. With versions coming from VMware, Parallels, and even Apple's Boot Camp, Mac users -- especially small to medium-sized businesses -- are taking advantage.
The 2008 Macworld will also be significant in that it is larger than previous years. More than 50,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors expected to fill up two of the three Moscone conference center complexes in San Francisco. Kent says the show will again connect Apple fans in sections such as the Users Conference, MacIT conference, Market Symposiums, Hands On MacLabs, and PowerTools.
Still, the biggest draw will be the keynote. Steve Jobs and Co. are sure to make a splash, what with Mac OS X Leopard as well as new versions of iLife, iWork, Pro Apps, Creative Suite, Filemaker and forthcoming Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac.
So, that is about it for the iPhone.. that is unless Apple is preparing a slew of smartphone announcements -- which is expected to happen. When asked about his predictions, Kent laughed and said all the time and effort that Mac rumor sites spend in trying to predict that "One More Thing...," is certainly embedded in the Macworld culture.