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Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference : The Final Countdown

** Update 1 : Apple Introduces Cheaper, Better 15-inch Macbook Pro **

In less than one hour now, a team of Apple executives which will be led by Phillip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, will deliver the keynote address at WWDC at 18:00 UK Time. No Steve Jobs unfortunately it seems.

WWDC (opens in new tab) is a sold out event and will bring together thousands of developers and IT professionals who are keen to learn more about Mac OS X and the iPhone OS, mostly through technical sessions and hands-on labs presented mostly by Apple engineers.

And if anyone doubted the importance of the iPhone in Apple's ecosystem, one just has to take a look at the calendar of iPhone; there are 128 (yes 128) sessions and labs which will be running for beginners, intermediate and expert Apple aficionados.

The focus of Apple iPhone development will be the OS 3.0 Beta and the accompanying SDK. The next version of iPhone is very likely to be launched within the next few hours and developers will certainly have a peep at the device before anyone else.

The fact that Apple released an updated version of iTunes (version 8.2) whose only major feature was the fact that it supported OS 3.0 is the most compelling evidence that Apple will launch a new iPhone.

Apple's Design Awards ceremony which recognises "technical excellence and outstanding achievement in iPhone OS and Mac OS X development" will take place tomorrow as will the rather informal "stump the experts" where Apple devs will test their knowledge of Apple against each other.

The final WWDC Bash will take place on Thursday at Yerba Buena Gardens and hopefully by then, developers who have attend the conference will go back home with the new iPhone. Although, we're not invited to attend WWDC, we will be covering it extensively over the next few days and you can expect more updates than usual from us.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.