Coronavirus impact: Apple moves WWDC to online format, citing 'current health situation'

Apple announced that it would move its Worldwide Developer Conference to an online format in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

No firm date for the conference was given, but the company announced that it would "commit $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset associated revenue loss as a result of WWDC 2020’s new online format."

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Colloquially known as WWDC, the event brings developers, media, analysts and others from around the world, as Apple shows off the latest versions of its operating systems: iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. The tech giant shows off some of the major updates in a keynote address with Apple executives and partners.

The rest of the event, which normally spans a week, is dedicated towards developers learning about these operating systems in on-site sessions with Apple employees.

The news follows cancellations from many other large tech conferences in recent days. Google recently announced it had canceled the in-person portion of its upcoming developer conference, I/O, as have Facebook and Microsoft with F8 and Build, respectively.

Several other tech conferences, including SXSW, the video game conference E3 and Mobile World Congress have all been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The novel coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, has infected 132,567 people around the world, up 5.6 percent from Thursday. Four-thousand nine hundred forty-seven people have died from the virus.

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