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Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference – affectionately known as WWDC – is a nearly 40-year-old tech event that started shortly before Apple and Steve Jobs launched the first Mac in 1984. Back then, it was under a different name but by 1987 the event, which focuses on Apple’s platforms and development tools, was already becoming a critical consumer technology institution.

WWDC is not traditionally a product launch event but that makes it no less momentous than Apple’s yearly iPhone launch in September. Without Apple CEO Tim Cook and the various software and hardware leads taking the stage to map out changes in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and more, there is no roadmap for future Apple products like the Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, and all those Macs.

WWDC is not entirely product-launch-free. Previous years have seen new MacBook Airs, Mac Pros, and new Apple Silicon to go inside those new Macs. The possibility of a surprise product or platform is why the world watches every WWDC.

The multi-day conference is held annually in June on the Apple Campus in Cupertino, California, but the keynote, which is delivered on the first day, is the must-watch event.

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