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Here’s why WWDC could be a ‘critical event’ for Apple

Apple is planning a packed line-up for its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5, which could become “one of the most critical events in the company’s history.” Aside from the company’s upcoming Reality Pro headset, there will be major updates to Apple’s software systems, including the biggest watchOS revamp since the Apple Watch launched in 2015.

That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who has a history of accurate predictions and leaks surrounding Apple products. It suggests that WWDC will be a chance for Apple to set out its future ambitions for a “post-iPhone era.”

A rendering of an Apple mixed-reality headset (Reality Pro) in a black color seen from behind.
Ahmed Chenni,

Although the Reality Pro headset has been plagued by delays and setbacks over the past months and years, Gurman believes Apple will make a major pitch to developers as to why they should create apps for the device. Much of the week-long WWDC event will be devoted to the headset’s App Store, tools, and operating system (called xrOS).

Although Apple had originally planned to reveal the Reality Pro in March and release it in September, the delayed unveiling date of June means Apple will be content to have the device go on sale before the holidays. Its anticipated price of $3,000 could make it an expensive Christmas gift, but Apple won’t want to miss the bumper holiday sales period regardless.

Multiple Macs on show

Apple CEO Tim Cook looks at a display of brand new redesigned MacBook Air laptop during the WWDC22
Getty Images

The headset will not be the only hardware shown off at the event. Apple is expected to unveil several new Mac models, with a 15-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac, Apple silicon Mac Pro, and high-end MacBook Pros all in the pipeline. Apple will unveil “at least some” of those devices at WWDC, and while Gurman’s report isn’t clear on which ones will make an appearance, the reporter claims all of them will go on sale in either 2023 or early 2024.

Those Macs that do launch at WWDC will lack the rumored M3 chip, however, instead settling for “something in line with the current M2 processors.” Leaked benchmarks have shown Apple recently tested a chip with an eight-core CPU, 10-core GPU and 8GB of memory, which could be one of the upcoming chips.

Interestingly, Gurman also claims Apple is working on two follow-ups to the Mac Studio, although their launch dates haven’t been nailed down yet. That’s better news than a Gurman report from February, where he stated Apple might not update the Mac Studio for the foreseeable future, if at all. Now, it seems like the computer is at least back on the menu.

A huge Apple Watch update

Portrait Watch Face in WatchOS 8
Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

Apple is also preparing to unveil new versions of its operating systems, with iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 all coming to WWDC, alongside the all-new xrOS. Most of these updates will be minor, however, with the exception of xrOS and watchOS 10.

In fact, the latter could be one of the biggest software updates in the history of the Apple Watch. Gurman’s report predicts it will come with “bigger enhancements, including an updated interface,” although Gurman doesn’t offer much more in the way of projected features.

With all that in the works, this year’s event is shaping up to be the largest WWDC in years. That’s thanks in large part to the Reality Pro headset, which Apple believes could eventually replace the iPhone. That means we could get a glimpse of the future this June — or at least, Apple’s own vision of it.

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