Apple co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs will not make the keynote address at the Macworld Expo next month.
The company will send senior vice president of product marketing Phil Schiller to the San Francisco event instead, as it confirmed that as of 2010 it will no longer participate in the conference.
This is the first keynote not to be delivered by Jobs since he returned to the chief executive position in 1997.
Apple denied claims that the decision was on health grounds, claiming that the decision was part of a larger overall strategy to reduce its presence at trade shows. Speculation has been made that his health is in decline, and that he is suffering from complications after a battle with pancreatic cancer.