- Apple has cancelled the in-person version of its WWDC conference and will instead hold it online, the company announced on Friday.
- Apple says the event will take on an “entirely new format,” but will still give developers the chance to get an early look at Apple’s upcoming features and software.
- WWDC is one of Apple’s biggest events of the year, where it unveils new features coming to the iPhone and other major products.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Apple is cancelling the in-person version of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference and will instead hold the event virtually, the company announced on Friday. The announcement comes after Google and Facebook recently cancelled their upcoming conferences over coronavirus fears.
“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,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a press release. “We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead.”
Apple says the event will be hosted online and will take on an “entirely new format.” Developers will still have the opportunity to get an early look at Apple’s upcoming software and engage with Apple engineers, the announcement says.
The virtual conference will take place in June as it usually does, although Apple has not announced the specific dates.
Apple’s WWDC is one of the company’s biggest events of the year, where the tech giant usually unveils new software and features for major products like the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. It sometimes announces new hardware products as well; last year, for example, it debuted the high-end Mac Pro, and in 2017 it unveiled the HomePod. The company also hosts events and informational sessions for developers during the conference.
Apple’s annual event is the latest major tech gathering to be cancelled. Google scrapped its plans to hold an in-person event for its Google I/O developers conference, which usually takes place at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, and Facebook cancelled its F8 event as well. Major tech conferences like Mobile World Congress and South by Southwest were also cancelled as major exhibitors began to pull out over coronavirus fears.
The official announcement comes after California’s Santa Clara County, home to Apple’s headquarters and the San Jose Convention Centre where WWDC usually takes place, recently imposed a ban on mass gatherings of 1,000 people or more.
Apple also announced that it will be donating $US1 million to local organisations in San Jose to offset any revenue loss that may result from Apple’s conference cancellation.
The announcement comes as tech firms like Apple and other major players have had to make adjustments to the way they conduct business in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Apple recently offered global employees at many of its offices the ability to work from home, for example, as Bloomberg first reported. The company also warned investors last month that it expects to miss its revenue guidance for its fiscal second quarter over weakened demand and slowing production resulting from the pandemic.