Apple has confirmed what its digital personal assistant Siri revealed earlier, that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will kick off June 13 in San Francisco. The iPhone maker is expected to announce updates to all its software platforms and perhaps unveil new MacBooks and a second-generation Apple Watch.
On Monday, Siri informed iPhone users of the dates of 2016 conference, but it was hours later when Apple finally confirmed the dates, revealing that this year’s event will take place in the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco as well as the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium about a mile away, where the company launched the iPhone 6S, iPad Pro and the latest version of Apple TV last September.
While not revealing specific details, the company did say in an emailed announcement that developers could look forward to learning “about the future of Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS.”
Developers willing to pay $1,599 for a ticket will be able to apply via the WWDC website until Friday, April 22, 10 a.m. PDT. Tickets will then be issued through a lottery process, and developers will be notified by Monday, April 25, at 5 p.m. PDT, if they got in.
Apple has confirmed it will live-stream a lot of the WWDC sessions, including the opening keynote at 10 a.m. PDT when Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to take the stage. The live streams will be available through the WWDC website as well as the dedicated WWDC app.
Apple typically announces the latest features of its major operating systems, Mac OS X and iOS, at WWDC to allow developers time to incorporate the new ideas into their own apps before the final version of the software is released to the public later in the year.
One significant change this time around could be the renaming of Mac OS X to simply MacOS (or macOS). Besides Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller hinting at the change last month and a configuration file within Apple’s desktop software referring to the new name, Apple briefly revealed the potential change on its website this month before spotting the mistake and changing it back.
As well as operating system updates, Apple uses WWDC to unveil some new products, with the 2015 event seeing the company finally unveil Apple Music.
At the 2016 conference, the company is widely expected to launch new models of its MacBook laptop. While some expect a slight refresh to the 12-inch MacBook to happen this month with updated processors, at WWDC Apple is reportedly preparing to unveil 13-inch and 15-inch versions of its ultra-slim MacBook that could potentially replace the company’s MacBook Pro models. The new laptops are set to come with only USB-C ports like the 12-inch model to facilitate their ultra-slim profile.
A report from Digitimes suggests the new models will feature a new hinge design, which will take advantage of a metal injection molding technique.
While far from certain, there are increasing reports that Apple will launch the Apple Watch 2 at WWDC this year. In a research note published last week, Apple analyst Brian White of Wall Street firm Drexel Hamilton, who has been touring Chinese supply-chain companies, said the new Watch would be between 20 and 40 percent thinner than the original.
“We walked away with the sense that the Apple Watch refresh will not occur in September with the iPhone 7, but is more likely to occur within the next two to three months, and thus we believe an unveiling at WWDC in June makes sense. We believe Apple Watch 2 could be 20 to 40 percent thinner than the current Apple Watch,” White said in his research note, according to a report by Mac Rumors. Other reports suggest the Apple Watch launch will take place in September alongside the launch of the iPhone 7.