Apple’s WWDC Sells Out In Under 2 Minutes – Can Anything Be Done?

Apple’s annual World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), an event where the Cupertino company typically showcases both new products and software overhauls to OS X and iOS, has sold out in less than two minutes. That obliterates the 2012 record of two hours, which beat the 2011 sell-out time of 12 hours, which… you get the idea. (The big difference is that this year, Apple announced when tickets would go on sale in advance, so the entire Apple developer community was scrambling to grab tickets at 10am PDT Thursday morning.)

Wall Street may be souring on Apple, but developer interest in the company’s next moves continues to hit new highs. The conference, to be held on June 10-14 in San Francisco, also happened to crush Google’s I/O conference sell-out time of a plodding 49 minutes. Tickets to the conference were limited to one per person and five per organization, contributing to the rush. 

The growth of WWDC and the increasing frenzy around scoring the coveted tickets causes some vexing problems for Apple and its developers. 

On the one hand, Apple made some $8 million off the $1,599 tickets, pricey for many independent developers but clearly not a big money maker for the company. But the bigger problem is that hordes of interested developers simply can’t get in to the event. (Unlike competing events, Apple doesn’t invite the press, either.)

Calls have come to expand the event but that might dilute the value of meeting with key Apple experts for those who do manage to attend. Holding satellite events at other locations around the world might allow more developers to attend, but could prove a time-suck for top Apple personnel – or would have to make do with lesser experts – again diluting the value of the events.

The company is promising “exciting announcements on videos and more” for those who couldn’t get a ticket, but it’s hard to see how that will satisfy Apple developers looking to get one-on-one time with company experts.  

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