Apple today announced that its 31st Worldwide Developers Conference will be a digital-only event with no physical gathering due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus around the world. The online-only event will take place in June.
Apple normally holds WWDC at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, but the area has seen multiple coronavirus cases and Apple is canceling the physical event as it is unknown if the infection will still be an issue in the summer months.
Apple says the new online event will be "packed with content" for consumers, press, and developers alike. Millions of creative and innovative developers will be provided with early access with new software, and will be able to engage with Apple engineers.
"We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead."
"With all of the new products and technologies we've been working on, WWDC 2020 is going to be big," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "I look forward to our developers getting their hands on the new code and interacting in entirely new ways with the Apple engineers building the technologies and frameworks that will shape the future across all Apple platforms."
Though there will not be a physical event in San Jose, Apple will hold an online keynote to unveil new software (and perhaps hardware) products. We're expecting Apple to unveil iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7.
Right now, it's not known if Apple will unveil new hardware in June, but products such as the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air are expected to receive updates this year, so it's possible we could see some hardware refreshes.
Apple will also make developer sessions and new information on the upcoming operating systems available through the Apple Developer website or the dedicated WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
Apple plans to provide additional information about the event between now and June through an email, in the Apple Developer app, and on the Apple Developer website.
In addition to announcing today's digital only event, Apple has also pledged to donate $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset the associated revenue loss as a result of WWDC 2020's online format.
Apple is not the first major company to cancel a major developer event. Facebook's F8 and Google's I/O developer conferences have also been canceled due to the coronavirus.