Apple's announcement that this year's Worldwide Developers Conference will take place on 10-14 June came with a surprise forewarning that the tickets for the event, which traditionally sell out within hours, will go on sale on Thursday 25 April (today) at 10am PDT, which is 6pm UK time.
In previous years, Apple hasn't given developers wishing to attend the annual event any warning about when tickets will go on sale, which has left many disappointed in the past. Last year, all 5,000 tickets sold out within two hours, and that's despite them going on sale at 5:30am PDT.
The early release time of the tickets received complaints from developers from the West Coast who woke up to find that WWDC 2012 had been announced and sold out long before they stumbled out of bed.
iOS software engineer from San Francisco, Rick Harrison, told Wired at the time that he "had full intentions on going to WWDC" and that he and his fellow developers had been anxious about the announcement. "I was completely appalled when I woke up at 7:45am and checked Twitter to see that WWDC tickets had both already gone on sale and sold out," he said.
Our colleagues at Macworld.com suggested last year that Apple should handle things differently for 2013's WWDC. "There's one element of an iPad launch that Apple would do well to replicate with WWDC ticketing – a delay between announcement and release. Apple doesn't issue a press release at 5:30am that's it's shipped iPads to random Apple Stores around the country, so why do that with WWDC tickets?" SEE: Apple's WWDC ticket fiasco
It seems that Apple agrees, and has changed the way it handles the ticketing for WWDC this year. But that's not before many developers signed up for alert services like Oisin Prendiville's WWDC 2013 Notification system, which developers paid a fee of €1 for in the hope that it would enable them to snap up a ticket as soon as they went on sale.
Of course, the down side to the pre-announced release time of the tickets means that the majority of potential WWDC 2013 attendees will be sitting with their fingers on their mouse at precisely 6pm UK time, ready cough up their $1,599 (£1,050) for a ticket. In previous years, it would take at least a few minutes for word of the tickets' availability to begin spreading throughout the developer community, so it's likely that this year's tickets will sell out in record time now that buyers are prepared.
Ars Technica has suggested that Apple CEO Tim Cook's announcement at the company's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday that we'll see "amazing" new products this autumn and in 2013 may have been a ploy to reduce overcrowding at WWDC, as this suggests that no major hardware launch will take place at the company's keynote in June.
"At the five-day conference, developers from around the world will learn about the future of iOS and OS X, enabling them to create incredible new apps with innovative features," Apple said in a press release yesterday. "WWDC will also feature more than 100 technical sessions presented by over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs to help developers integrate new technologies, as well as the popular Apple Design awards, a showcase of the most outstanding apps available through the App Store and Mac App Store."
In order to buy a ticket, you must be a member of Apple's iOS Developer Program, iOS Developer Enterprise Program or the Mac Developer Program as of Apple's announcement of WWDC yesterday at 5.30am PDT, and at the time you purchase the ticket. Ticket purchases are limited to one per person or five per organisation, says Apple.
For more information about how to purchase a WWDC 2013 ticket, click here.