AppleMagazine|June 26, 2020
A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
The coronavirus pandemic has hit virtually every aspect of our lives, and WWDC is no exception. Back in March, Google canceled its own technology conference, I/O 2020, and others followed suit - like Facebook and the Mobile World Congress. The direct loss of such events reached more than $1 billion for the tech giants, and though some have changed their strategy - including Sony, who announced PlayStation 5 during its own virtual event - it was Apple who pioneered and maintained some sense of normalcy, even if it couldn’t physically welcome developers to its Steve Jobs Theater.
This year’s conference started out with a nod to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and a tribute to George Floyd. Apple has pledged more than $100 million to foster racial equity and justice and wants to break down the “systematic barriers” in education and careers. The news comes just after Apple’s current diversity head stepped down from the organization. As well as expanding its partnerships with black schools, Apple announced that it was launching a dedicated Developer Entrepreneur Camp for black and minority developers and is working hard to improve representation amongst its partners. During his opening speech, Tim Cook said it was time the US should “aim higher to build a future that lives up to our ideals,” and reiterated that it was his and Apple’s ultimate ambition to “make the world a better place”.
Cook also paid tribute to the healthcare workers who have been fighting the coronavirus pandemic for the past three months. “We want to thank the dedicated people everywhere, especially our health care workers who have made tremendous sacrifices to take care of those in need,” he said in his speech, referencing the “profound impact” Apple products have had during the lockdown period, connecting families and workers around the world. “Today, the world is counting on all of us and on the products and experiences that we create to move forward,” he added, before handing over to Craig Federighi for huge announcements.
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June 26, 2020