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Macworld yesterday noted that IDG World Expo has officially opened registration for Macworld Expo 2011, scheduled for January 26th through 29th in San Francisco. Free expo-only passes are available through July 26th, with pre-sale prices going up to $25 after that time. Onsite expo-only passes will be available at the conference for $50.

Packages and pricing for conference sessions at Macworld 2011 will be announced in October.

Apple was an annual participant at Macworld's January conferences for many years, using the stage for numerous product introductions, but announced in late 2008 that the 2009 conference would be its final appearance. Apple cited the decreasing relevance of trade shows and increased direct contact with customers through its retail stores as reasons for the discontinuation. IDG World Expo has continued to host Macworld Expo, however, pushing the conference date from its traditional early January timeframe to a late January/early February schedule in order to reduce competition from the larger Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas in early January each year.

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