Macworld Expo mirrors Apple's product shift with new 'iWorld' name

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Next year's Macworld Expo, set to kick off Jan. 26, 2012, will carry a new name for the first time, "Macworld|iWorld," to reflect the importance of Apple's i-products like the iPhone and iPad.

The change was announced by Macworld on Tuesday, when registration for the three-day event began. Attendees can now sign up for what has been dubbed "the ultimate iFanevent."

“The brand is evolving from Macworld [Expo] to Macworld|iWorld to illustrate that the show is about the whole ecosystem of Apple products,” said Paul Kent, the event’s vice president and general manager.

New features of this year's event include the Music Experience showcase, featuring live performances and talks from musicians who use Apple products. A new Film Event will highlight the use of Apple technology in movies and TV shows.

In all, the conference will include more than 75 talks, including educational sessions, how-to presentations, and tips-and-tricks demos. These "Tech Talks" are retained from previous Macworld Expos.

Exhibitors who have signed on for this year's event and are set to appear in the show floor include HP, Polk Audio and Sennheiser. More than 300 exhibitors are expected to visit, up from the 265 who attended in 2011.

Apple last participated in the Macworld Expo in 2009, and has since opted to host its own events, including media introductions of products as well as its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.