Apple’s four-day worldwide developers conference begins today in Cupertino, California with a likely address from CEO Tim Cook at 10:00 am Pacific Time.
The four-day worldwide developers conference, known also as WWDC, is often the event during which Apple unveils big announcements linked to its software and product releases, as well as changes to its existing line-up of iPhones, Apple Watches, Mac Books and iPads.
One area of interest in this year’s event will be additions to Apple’s new operating system, iOS16, and the introduction of an ‘always on’ feature for the new line-up of iPhone 14s expected in the autumn. Reports also suggest the new iOS will include significant improvements to notifications.
The new operating system is also reportedly set to bring major changes to the functionality of Apple’s iPad, allowing for easier changing between applications, as well as re-sizing windows, that will transform the device into something more akin to a laptop than a smartphone, according to multiple media reports.
Investors and consumers will also be focused on any updates from Apple’s investments in augmented reality and artificial intelligence efforts, and perhaps even a new next-generation MacBook Air.
This year’s WWDC, which will again be a virtual-only affair, kicks-off with a keynote address set for 10:00 am Pacific Time.
Apple shares were marked 1.36% higher in premarket trading to indicate an opening bell price of $147.35 each, a move that would still leave the stock down 17% for the year.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty cautioned last week of “downside risk” for services revenue growth over the current quarter, noting that App Store sales had slowed to around 6% over the two months ending in May.
Late last month, Bloomberg News reported that Apple is likely to keep 2022 iPhone production levels at around 220 million units, a figure that matches last year’s tally, as supply chain disruptions and China’s Covid lockdown impact supply and slowing global growth and Russia’s war on Ukraine dampen demand.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors in April that Covid and supply chain disruptions around what he called the “Shanghai corridor”, as well as Russia’s war in Ukraine, would clip between $4 billion and $8 billion from current quarter revenues, marring an otherwise impressive second quarter earnings beat.
The Wall Street Journal has also reported that Apple, which makes by some estimates around 90% of its hardware products inside China, is looking to expand manufacturing hubs in India and Vietnam in order to both diversify its supply-chain and counter the impact of China’s draconian Covid lockdowns.