WWDC 2023, this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, is fast approaching and it’s looking set to be the best edition of the event we’ve seen in years. Not only are we likely to get the usual suite of software announcements across iOS, macOS, and the rest, but there’s almost certainly going to be new hardware – which may include the long-rumored Apple VR headset.
It’ll kick off on June 5, 2023, with a keynote at 10am PT (1pm ET / 6pm BST / June 6, 3am ACT). This will be followed up by a slew of panels and tech demos for Apple software developers, as well as some hands-on time with any new hardware goodies we’re treated to.
The two most likely hardware announcements are a new Mac Pro and the Apple VR headset, which is expected to be called the Apple Reality Pro. Naturally, there will be plenty of software announcements at the event to keep Apple fans happy, including previews of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17.
Last year, Apple unveiled the Apple M2 chip, along with the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch. In 2019, Apple debuted a new Mac Pro as well, and it’s very possible that a new Mac Pro with an M2 Ultra chip might be shown off.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple’s annual developer conference
- When is it? June 5 – 9, 2023
- How can I register or watch? Space for the in-person event is limited but you can request to attend on Apple’s Developer site. The online version will be free for everyone to watch.
Latest WWDC 2023 news
May 24: Apple has sent out WWDC 2023 invites and many have gone to VR specialists, suggesting it’ll have some VR or AR announcements at the event.
May 17: Apple reveals the full schedule for WWDC 2023, including another visual hint about its mixed-reality headset and the timings for its keynote presentation on June 5 (10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST / June 6, 3am ACT).
May 15: A new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has suggested that we won’t be seeing MacBook Pros with new M3 chips at WWDC 2023, and that hardware will instead be coming sometime next year. We are, however, expecting to see a new 15-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip.
March 30: Rumors from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest that some delays to production of the Apple AR/VR headset have created “uncertainty” around the device appearing at WWDC 2023.
March 29: Apple announces the dates for the WWDC 2023, which will start on June 5 and run through to June 9. The keynote, which historically contains all of the big news, will take place on June 5.
WWDC 2023 dates
Apple has announced that its developer conference will take place Monday, June 5 through Friday, June 9.
Apple regularly schedules its annual five-day conference for June, so it wasn’t a surprise to expect to see WWDC around this time again.
If you’re mainly interested in the big announcements, Apple has said the WWDC 2023 keynote will take place on June 5 and we now have its exact kick-off time. If you want to tune in, it’ll start at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST / June 6, 3am ACT.
Latest WWDC 2023 rumors
The hardware rumors
Likely: Apple Reality Pro
Rumors about an Apple VR headset have been growing steadily this year – and the WWDC 2023 invite appears to hint at the lenses used in some VR goggles.
While many reliable analysts have suggested that the Apple Reality Pro headset (as it’s rumored to be called) will debut at WWDC 2023, other rumors have suggested that production delays could see it miss Apple’s big developer conference.
Right now, its appearance alongside a new xrOS operating system at WWDC looks increasingly likely, but there’s a chance it could be a developer preview ahead of a full launch later this year. Given it’s been rumored for years, that would be fine by us.
Likely: Mac Pro (2023)
Last year, hopes were high for a new Mac Pro at WWDC 2022, which is traditionally an industry conference more than a consumer product event.
A Mac Pro, which is an industry-grade workstation costing a gajillion dollars (ok, not literally), is perfectly suited for a debut before all the developers who might reasonably be working on one or at least developing with that workstation in mind.
It’s also the last major Apple product that hasn’t switched over to Apple’s in-house silicon, so it makes sense to finally cut ties with Intel and put out a new Mac Pro 2023 workstation PC.
Likely: Apple M2 Ultra
In addition to the new Mac Pro, we expect that an M2 Ultra SoC will also be shown off at WWDC 2023. Apple has already revealed the M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max chips, with an M2 Ultra the last remaining tier of silicon to debut.
If it’s anything like the M1 Ultra, it will be two M2 Max chips interconnected to effectively double the power of that chip, which makes it appropriate for a workstation PC like the high-end Mac Studio. The latter device uses the M1 Ultra, but it’s not clear that this kind of chip is powerful enough for the kind of thing that industrial users need.
The 2019 Mac Pro had a max capacity of 1.5TB of memory. The M-series chips use unified memory and if the M2 Ultra is two M2 Max chips fused together, then its max unified memory would only be 256GB. That’s not nearly enough to edit a major Hollywood film or score an orchestral piece with hundreds of samples, all of which require a lot of memory.
Still, if the M2 Ultra is going to appear, WWDC 2023 makes the most sense.
Likely: 15-inch MacBook Air
It’s currently looking very likely that we’ll see a new MacBook Air at WWDC – not a shiny new M3-powered model, though, but rather an M2-equipped version with a 15-inch display.
Rumors have been heating up that we’ll see a 15-inch MacBook Air at WWDC this year, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman now claiming we’re going to see multiple MacBook models at the event.
A report from Macworld has claimed that stock of the new, bigger MacBook Air is already making its way to retailers, despite the fact that it hasn’t even been officially announced yet. That means we could see a surprise launch at WWDC – a great way to drum up hype for an event like this.
Possible: A new iMac
Finally, on the computing side, there really is just the iMac.
The iMac (24-inch) debuted two years ago powered by the then-new M1 chip, so it’s definitely due for an upgrade. Its bold color options definitely made it a hit, especially with me, but that color trend seems to have all but vanished ever since.
We would love to see a purple iMac (M2), but this one is less likely than a Mac Pro in our book.
The software rumors
Apple will almost certainly be introducing iOS 17 at WWDC 2023, which will be the next leap in the iPhone’s operating system.
It now sounds like iOS 17 could be a bigger update than we originally thought, with one analyst claiming that it’ll deliver several of the “most requested features” from Apple fans.
Exactly what those are remains to be see, but expect to see some significant updates to existing iPhone staples, like CarPlay, Siri and Messages. For some deeper analysis of how you’re iPhone might soon change, check out our seven wishes for iOS 17 guide.
Every year for the last decade, Apple has announced a new version of the software that powers its Macs – and we expect it to be a similar story at WWDC 2023.
While macOS often lags behind iOS when it comes to new features, that does mean we have some hints of what might be coming to Apple’s desktop OS. This could include more versatile desktop widgets that are allowed to break free from the Notification Center, or maybe even a version of the Dynamic Island for Apple laptops.
It’s still early days for macOS 14 rumors, but we’re expecting to hear more as we get closer to WWDC 2023 and the operating system’s likely full release date in October or November 2023.