Will Coronavirus Fears Force Apple to Cancel WWDC 2020, One of Its Biggest Event of the Year?

Google I/O 2020

Google has sent out emails informing developers and attendees that it will be canceling the physical I/O event that was scheduled to take place on May 12 -14. With many companies canceling their events, it is possible that Apple could not hold a physical WWDC event this year as well.

Google decided to cancel I/O 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak and health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities. It will be refunding money for I/O tickets by March 13. Below is Google’s email in full:

Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

All guests who have purchased tickets to I/O 2020 will receive a full refund by March 13, 2020. If you don’t see the credit on your statement by then, please reach out to io@google.com. Guests who have registered for I/O 2020 will not need to enter next year’s drawing and will be automatically granted the option of purchasing an I/O 2021 ticket.

Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community. We will keep the Google I/O website updated with additional information.

Will Apple Hold a Physical WWDC 2020 Event?

Google canceling I/O 2020 does cast doubts on whether Apple will be holding a physical WWDC event this year or not. Google is not the only major tech giant that has canceled a major conference due to the virus. Facebook has canceled its F8 developer conference which was to be held in the first week of May. MWC 2020 in Barcelona was also canceled due to coronavirus. Apple usually tends to hold WWDC in June and this year, the event would most have most likely been held in the second week of June. The company typically announces dates for WWDC in the second or third week of March every year.

While Apple does have some more time in its hand, it does look unlikely that the company will hold an in-person WWDC event this year especially after the virus outbreak in the United States.

Since the number of reported cases in the United States keeps increasing, it is pretty much a given now that Apple will not be holding a physical launch event for the iPhone 9 and new MacBook Pro announcements later this month as well. The company will likely announce the products via a press release and be done with it.