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Apple pulls out of 2008 NAB conference

After days of speculation on the matter amongst industry-watchers, Apple Inc. confirmed Thursday that it will not have a booth at this year's National Association of Broadcasters conference.

The move comes just months after the company's longtime rival in the professional broadcast video sector, Avid Technology, said it too would forgo this year's show.

According to TvTechnology, Apple's pullout is part of a broader decision to cut down on its trade show participation overall.

"Apple is participating in fewer trade shows this year," said Apple spokesman Anuj Nayar. "Often there are better ways to reach our customers. The increasing popularity of our retail stores and Web site allows us to directly reach more than 100 million customers around the world in innovative new ways."

Apple reportedly declined comment on whether it plans to return to NAB next year.

The conference is scheduled to take place April 11-17 in Las Vegas, Nevd, and may still feature some side partnerships with the Mac maker, according to NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton.

“We’re talking about some on-site business opportunities with Apple,” he said.

Apple in past years has used its presence at NAB to hold special events and take the wraps off new versions of its professional video offerings, such as high-end MacBook Pro notebooks and its Shake composition software. Last year's event gave way to Final Cut Studio 2.0.