iPhone 14 event could be the last of the COVID era if this in-house summit is anything to go by?

Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple is reportedly holding its annual "AI summit" at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park today, February 7. The event will include Apple employees, with those who cannot attend also watching via a stream.

The event will be the first to take place at Apple Park since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

It's hoped that Apple will continue to relax its COVID-19 policy, leading to more in-person events throughout the year.

Test event

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conferences typically see thousands of people attend a conference center of Apple's choosing, but that all changed when the pandemic hit. Since then, we've witnessed WWDC go online only, with WWDC22 being a hybrid event that allowed some developers and press members to visit Apple Park.

Even then, however, the event was pre-recorded, whereas it would generally be in-person. So it's hoped that this in-person AI summit could be the first of many to return to that kind of gathering.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman shared the summit news, noting that this is "essentially how Apple held media events pre-COVID."

It's been suggested that this summit is a test event, although it remains to be seen what will come of it.

If that is the case, however, we could see Apple announcing its best iPhones at an in-person event this September. We're already expecting big things from the iPhone 15 lineup, including the addition of a USB-C port.

As for WWDC, that's a slightly different animal because of the number of people that would need to visit. However, it's possible that Apple could tweak last year's hybrid model to allow more people to visit. We could at least see CEO Tim Cook give the opening keynote in person.

As for what the summit itself will entail, nobody knows, given the closed nature of the event. But it seems likely that Apple will discuss AI and its future role in products and services.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.