It's official. Apple will kick off its annual developers confab with a keynote on June 8.
Invitations trickled out to the media on Wednesday.
Apple will host its Worldwide Developers Conference from June 8 to 12 at Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. More than 5,000 app and software developers -- those lucky enough to win a lottery to buy a $1,599 ticket -- will descend on the city for the conference. Along with new software announcements, WWDC will include more than 100 technical sessions on a range of topics involving the use of the latest mobile and computer technologies.
In the past, Apple has used its two-hour WWDC keynote as a chance to introduce new products, but more recently it has homed in on software, saving new mobile-device announcements for separate events. That's likely to be the case this time around, with the company expected to focus on its iOS mobile operating system, Mac OS X computer operating system and a new music service from its $3 billion acquisition of Beats.
This year's event also comes only a couple of months after the company launched the Apple Watch, its first new device since the "magical" iPad debuted in 2010 and the first entirely new product under CEO Tim Cook's tenure. It's vital that Apple show that it's still an innovator without co-founder Steve Jobs and that it can expand beyond its core iPhone market, which has made up more than two-thirds of sales in the past couple of quarters.
The Apple Watch, which costs from $349 to $17,000, has had some struggles since it hit the market April 24, including limited supply and a less-than-smooth rollout. Currently, the smartwatch is available for sale only online, and some models are back-ordered till July. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said in early May that Apple had "somewhat botched the Watch introduction."
Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of operations, said Wednesday at Recode's Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., that the company would release a preview of its software development kit at WWDC that will allow developers to write code natively on to the Watch. Early apps had to be paired with an iPhone, which led to long loading times and slower performance. Williams the third-party apps will get better with the ability to go native to the Apple Watch.
Other areas Apple will probably address at the conference include Apple Pay, the company's mobile-payments system; and HomeKit, its home automation platform first unveiled at WWDC last year.
Tune back to CNET for full coverage of WWDC.