Despite the importance of WWDC to Apple, developers, and users, Computerworld‘s Jonny Evans “can’t see the good corporate citizen Apple strives to be holding the show in June on strength of the coronavirus threat.” This is why Apple needs to cancel the physical side of WWDC 2020.
According to the latest figures from Caixin, there have been 80,566 confirmed cases in China, with 52,109 recovered, 522 suspected cases, and 3,016 deaths due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Confirmed cases outside of China total 15,926, with 291 deaths in 80 countries.
We’re in the containment phase as governments worldwide seek to slow the proliferation of the infection in hope that they can find some kind of solution.
It’s in everybody’s interest to hold that line for as long as possible.
The problem is that the virus has a long gestation period, a high infection rate, and a far higher fatality rate than the flu we are used to. That means it can easily proliferate itself at public events…
The show attracts at least 6,000 people from all around the world. Which, unfortunately, is a problem in context of the corona virus… If just a few people are infected at the start of the event you can rest assured many more will be once it ends. It might be a couple of weeks before they know they’ve been hit, by which time they will have returned home, unknowingly infecting others along the way.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple still has a bit of time to make their final decision, but Evans thinks Apple will stream the WWDC keynote and selected developer sessions, while providing access to more sensitive sessions online via very strict non-disclosure agreements. “The approach does lack the human connection with engineers that means so much, but Apple will absolutely want to protect its key staff,” Evans concludes.
Apple is, after all, one of the few companies who could pull off a webcast-only event and still get an ample PR bang out of it since so many developers and users around the world are extremely interested in the future of macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, audioOS, etc.
What do you think? Should Apple cancel the physical side of WWDC 2020?