The truth was that while we, as event organizers, would have liked them there, not only for the benefit of the attendees, but for the promotional benefits it would bring to the overall event, Apple didn't need us.
At TechEd 2008, Apple didn't participate at all. Disappointing for many, but there was nothing we could do to convince Apple to support the event.
Now, after Apple has pledged to pull out of event MacWorld, an event dedicated to the Apple experience, I don't feel so bad. It is simply not in their business model.
And, quite frankly, they don't need it as is shown by this new post on Cio.com:
iPhone University: At ACU, Students Navigate College Life via Apple iPhone
Every one of Abilene Christian University's (ACU) 950 incoming freshman this year got a free tool to manage college life: an Apple iPhone or iPod touch. Here's a look inside how the university is using the devices to enhance classroom learning and ease the transition into college life.
Apple is successfully integrating itself into its various markets including education by creating a great product and using modern marketing methods to gain users (followers?).
So, kudos to Apple for creating tools we can use, but it would still be nice to see them supporting events like TechEd who are bringing together educators from around the world to share ideas, innovations and needs.
It has been said that TechEd changes the face of education every year... Apple could be a part of that... or not.