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Apple's WWDC Conference Goes Virtual Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

'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,' an Apple exec says of the change.

Apple's flagship WWDC developer conference in June is going virtual as the ripple effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continue within the tech industry.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant announced Friday that the 31st annual WWDC will "take on an entirely new online format packed with content for consumers, press and developers alike." The event will target developers of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS.

[Related: Coronavirus Impact: Xerox Mothballs HP Offer]

The company said it will share more details of WWDC 2020 in the coming weeks via email, the Apple Developer app and the Apple Developer.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said the decision to turn WWDC into a virtual event after 30 years of holding it in a physical location was in response to the "current health situation." But at the same time, he promised it will provide a new, innovative experience to "millions of developers around the world."

“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," he said in a statement.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, promised WWDC 2020 "is going to be big" with "all the new products and technologies we've been working on."

“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.”

The company is aware of the impact WWDC will have on local businesses and organizations in San Jose, Calif., where the event has traditionally been held, so Apple said it is committing $1 million to local organizations to offset any associated revenue loss.

Apple's WWDC conference is now among several events that have shifted to a virtual format as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, Microsoft and Dell Technologies said they would shift flagship events to virtual formats. Nvidia has also shifted its upcoming GTC event to a virtual format, though it has canceled a planned digital keynote with its CEO over health concerns.

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