Apple has announced that it's cancelling its Worldwide Developers Conference due to the spread of coronavirus. Instead, WWDC 2020 will now be an online-only event.
Apple says the new virtual format will still "connect millions of developers around the world" – just without breaking Santa Clara's mandatory order banning public gatherings of more than 1000 people.
Despite the pandemic, Apple is promising the usual slew of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS announcements, plus a big keynote speech (minus whooping crowd).
The company was also forced to axe its March iPhone event, so WWDC might see the unveiling of new hardware including, perhaps, Apple over-ear headphones, the iPhone SE 2 or a new iPad Pro.
According to Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing: "The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format... [that] delivers WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world."
Cancelling the conference could be tough on local businesses such as hotels and restaurants, so to cushion the blow, Apple is donating $1 million to local San Jose organisations "to offset associated revenue loss" as a result of the change of plan.
Apple says it will share all the details of its virtual WWDC, including the precise date, in the coming weeks.
We've already seen the cancellation of High End Munich, MWC, E3 and Record Store Day, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on events, not to mention day-to-day life, all over the world.
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