The big picture: Apple hasn't hosted WWDC this late in the month in well over a decade but given the unique circumstances in play this time around, it is understandable. The tech giant didn't say how long the virtual conference would last, either, although typically, it runs for five days.

Apple on Tuesday confirmed that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference will begin on June 22.

As you've no doubt heard by now, Apple will be hosting the conference virtually for the first time in the event's 31-year history due to ongoing Covid-19 containment efforts.

Apple said developers from around the world will get access to the next major versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS at the conference. "We can't wait to meet online in June with the global developer community and share with them all of the new tools we've been working on to help them create even more incredible apps and services," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of worldwide marketing.

It's not uncommon for Apple to slip in a couple of hardware announcements at WWDC. Last year, for example, we saw the company unveil its new third-gen Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR and in 2017, we got the HomePod smart speaker, a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a new iMac Pro, among other refreshed hardware.

With Apple having just announced a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro this week in addition to the newly minted iPhone SE, a refreshed MacBook Air and a new iPad Pro, it's looking more and more likely that this year's WWDC could be a hardware-free affair.

More information will be coming down the pipe as we approach the event, Apple said. Attendance will be free for all developers.