Apple miscalculates WWDC ticketing, shuts out much of U.S. west coast

“Yesterday, Apple announced the sale of tickets for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at 5:30 AM PDT,” Ted Landau writes for The Mac Observer. “They were sold out less than two hours later, leaving most people on the west coast of the U.S. to discover that tickets were gone before they even woke up. In other words, many of the developers who live in Apple’s backyard of Silicon Valley or in the San Francisco area where the WWDC will be held, will be unable to attend.”

“This didn’t strike me as a fair or wise way to have handled the ticket sales. What exactly was Apple thinking?” Landau wonders. “Apple miscalculated. Last year, tickets for WWDC similarly went on sale about 5:30 AM PDT. They too sold out on the first day, but not until the evening, giving people on the West Coast a chance to grab a ticket.”

Landau writes, “Apple might well have anticipated that ticket sales would be even brisker this year. In response, they tightened the rules regarding reselling tickets… Apple likely assumed that these new limitations would dampen the initial rush of ticket purchases, softening the expected overall increase in demand. In the end, if all went about as planned, tickets would again sell out somewhere near the close of the day — not within the first few hours. All would be well. Unfortunately, demand was much higher than anticipated (a common phenomenon with almost anything associated with Apple these days). The result was that West Coast developers were shut out, something that Apple did not want or intend.”

Read more, including ideas for what Apple could do next year to avoid this same result, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Get ready for lots of New Yawk accents, San Fran!

Related articles:
How hot is Apple? – April 25, 2012
Apple’s WWDC 2012 to kick June 11 in San Francisco; tickets now available – April 25, 2012


  1. And it’s apples fault that it sold out that fast…
    If you were wanting to go, you’d be up at 5:30

    Now watch, apple will change the venue and add a bunch of seats for west coast companies.

    1. That’s what I was thinking… If it’s in Apple’s “backyard” so to speak, they could put on a mini West Coast event mainly utilizing Apple engineers and labs and such.

    1. Nope. Many of Apple’s top engineers are there. They’ve spent many weeks (months?) preparing their talks, then spend a week not doing their own work, but instead helping third-party developers. That’s a good thing, but would you rather they double that and do another week, or get back to building new iOS, new OS X, and other new software?

      1. Yes, Yes I would. They are going to be just fine at Apple.

        It is the developers adding fuel to this whole ecosystem. This is THE training and 1on1 time they need to get better and build the great apps that are going to leverage all the pretty kit Apple makes.

        Clearly, the event is valuable and popular. Time for Apple to put on it’s big boy pants and find a bigger venue for next year, Make it longer and double up the sessions, or add a second WWDC.

    1. Or maybe a ticket lottery? Enter and Apple will get back to you. It would be fairer world wide.

      Would need to implement anti-scalping measures, but that can be done.

  2. First of all, the west coast was not shut out, anyone who was really THAT interested in going would’ve gotten up extra early to buy the tickets. If Apple said tickets go on sale at 8am EST, you can be damn sure anyone and everyone interested in going would be ready to order their ticket at 8am EST.

    Second, hindsight is such a wonderful way to show off your great intelligence to impress people. If this guy was so smart, why didn’t he write an article two days ago explaining that developers not on the east coast who were interested in going should get up early? You know why he didn’t write that article? Because everyone already knew that.


      1. “Last year, tickets for WWDC similarly went on sale about 5:30 AM PDT”

        There’s your Advanced warning…
        Gee apple did the exact same thing they did last year… And I bet the same thing the year before..

          1. Ah, but there were third-party alert services that people were signed up for that sent text messages (and other notifications?) to people.
            You readers here at MDN should really listen to The Talk Show podcast, with Dan Benjamin and John Gruber. They discussed all this in detail.

    1. Read what people are saying. Apple did not pre-announce when ticket sales would begin. Nobody knew the date they would go on sale. There was nothing to set an alarm to do.

  3. While video modules will be available after WWDC, It is surprising the more significant WWDC modules are not being streamed live to satellite locations.

    Last year SJ apologized for the quick sell-out, saying the Moscone Ctr was the largest place Apple could find in the area. That won’t be changing anytime soon. Perhaps it’s time for a different strategy to accommodate larger numbers of developers.

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