WWDC 2023 could be Apple's biggest event in years

Shawn Knight

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In brief: When Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off in early June, most expect to see Cupertino announce its long-awaited mixed reality headset. Of course, Apple will have plenty of other stuff to talk about during the keynote as well.

According to Bloomberg's well-sourced Mark Gurman, iOS 17 could make some noise at WWDC and beyond as Apple is reportedly laying the groundwork to allow sideloading of apps on the iPhone. Apple isn't keen on opening its walled garden to the outside world but European regulators appear to be forcing their hand.

Elsewhere, watchOS is reportedly on track to receive its biggest update since the platform debuted in 2015. Apple Watch hardware isn't expected to evolve much this year so the focus will be on software, including an updated interface, Gurman said.

iPadOS 17 will likely receive some structural updates too, setting the stage for Pro models due out next year with OLED displays. It was reported earlier this month that Samsung was investing $3.1 billion into OLED production, perhaps to support Apple's transition to OLED tech in its iPads and MacBooks.

Apple is also said to be prepping several new Macs for launch later this year or early next year, and at least a couple of them could debut at WWDC. Notably, Gurman doesn't expect any of the new models on track for a June debut to arrive with M3 silicon. Instead, Apple will likely equip these systems with some variant of the current M2 chip.

Apple's Mac division could certainly use a shot in the arm right about now. PC shipments were down across the board in the first quarter as demand cratered but it was Apple that suffered the biggest hit. According to IDC's data, Mac shipments were down more than 40 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period a year earlier. On the PC side, Dell was the biggest loser as its shipments dipped 31 percent year over year.

WWDC 2023 gets started on June 5 and runs through June 9. Apple will host an in-person event on opening day but everything else will be presented in an online format.

Image credit: iPhone by Sebastian Bednarek, Updating by Szabo Viktor

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