Apple Store goes down ahead of major hardware announcements

Jun 5, 2023, 1:42 PM UTC
3 mins read
Apple Store goes offline ahead of major hardware announcements
(Image credit: Apple)

As the tradition goes, the Apple Store has temporarily gone offline, signaling the impending arrival of exciting hardware and software announcements at the highly anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple fans around the world eagerly await news on a range of new products, including the much-rumored 15-inch M2 MacBook Air, updates to the Mac Studio lineup, and a long-awaited debut of the Apple XR headset, which promises to redefine virtual and augmented reality experiences.

The spotlight of the day’s hardware announcements falls on the Apple XR headset, a groundbreaking device that has been shrouded in secrecy and anticipation. Speculations suggest that this highly advanced headset will boast cutting-edge technology, featuring high-resolution OLED screens for each eye, a myriad of cameras and sensors for precise hand and eye tracking, and the powerful M2 Apple Silicon chip. However, such groundbreaking innovation comes at a price, with estimates placing the headset in the range of $3000.

Although the marketing name for this innovative headset remains undisclosed, Apple has filed trademarks for potential names such as ‘Reality Pro,’ ‘Reality One,’ and ‘XR.’ This unveiling marks the first official introduction of the headset, but consumers may need to exercise patience as it is not expected to be available for purchase until later in the year, potentially in early 2024. In the meantime, select members of the press will have the opportunity to experience the Apple XR headset firsthand, as Apple has set up a dedicated demo area within its iconic Apple Park campus.

Alongside the highly anticipated Apple XR headset, WWDC 2023 promises exciting updates to Apple’s Mac lineup. An impressive addition to this lineup is the rumored 15-inch MacBook Air, equipped with similar internal specifications as its M2-powered 13-inch counterpart but boasting a larger, more immersive display. Additionally, rumors have circulated about the arrival of the M2 Max and M2 Ultra variants of the Mac Studio, further fueling anticipation. The fate of the Mac Pro, however, remains uncertain, leaving enthusiasts in suspense even after Apple VP John Ternus hinted at its future reveal over a year ago.

In line with the WWDC’s focus on software advancements, Apple will unveil the latest iterations of its operating systems, including iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, macOS 14, and tvOS 17. iPhone users can expect an array of exciting new features, such as enhancements to the Dynamic Island and always-on display functionalities, a redesigned journaling app, and a revamped Wallet app. Meanwhile, Apple Watch owners anticipate a significant overhaul with watchOS 10, featuring a reimagination of the operating system’s design, redesigned apps, and an enhanced widget-centric home screen experience.

For developers eager to explore these upcoming software updates, today’s WWDC keynote will mark the release of developer betas, with the public release scheduled for the fall, offering users a glimpse into the future of Apple’s ecosystem.

While technical reasons may be the primary cause for most online stores’ downtime, Apple’s decision to take its store offline serves as a strategic marketing move. This temporary closure generates excitement and builds anticipation among the Apple community, heightening the already palpable buzz surrounding the WWDC 2023 announcements. With an extensive lineup of revelations and updates, this year’s keynote is expected to run for approximately two hours, starting at 10 am Pacific Time, captivating audiences around the globe.

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