Apple has announced that WWDC 2017 will be held from 5-9 June 2017 in San Jose, California. In this article we explain how to get WWDC tickets, how the lottery works, and how much tickets are likely to cost.
How to get WWDC 2017 tickets
Tickets to WWDC are distributed by lottery, but be warned that it's an odd kind of lottery where you still have to pay for the ticket if you win, and it's pretty expensive.
Back in 2012, all 5,000 WWDC tickets sold out within two hours of being released, and many developers who missed out were far from happy. In 2013, Apple decided to let developers know in advance when the WWDC tickets for that year would go on sale, but this time it took just two minutes for the tickets to sell out. A new approach was needed.
So, in 2014, Apple took a completely different approach to its ticket sales, offering everyone a chance to win the chance to buy a ticket by registering for a lottery. In years past, 5,000 developers were randomly selected as attendees from those who applied.
Unfortunately, the ticket lottery for WWDC 2017 has now closed. Registration (on Apple's site) opened on Monday 27 March and closed on Friday 31 March. Registration was open to members of the Apple Developer Program or Apple Developer Enterprise Program.
But you may still be able to get a ticket - we'll cover your options in a later section.
How do I know if I've won a ticket to WWDC?
If you haven't heard by now, the chances are you're not a winner. Generally speaking, Apple emails lottery winners within a day or so of registration closing, and the 2017 lottery closed at the end of March.
Unsuccessful lottery hopefuls should expect an email from Apple that reads something like this:
"Dear Developer. Thank you for registering for the random selection process to attend WWDC 2014.
"Unfortunately, you were not selected to purchase a ticket. However, you can still take advantage of great WWDC content. We'll be posting session videos, slides, and sample code throughout the week for all Registered Apple Developers.
"We appreciate your support. Best regards, Apple Developer Program Support."
How much do WWDC 2017 tickets cost?
Even if your name is drawn in the ticket lottery, you'll still have to pay to attend WWDC 2017.
Tickets to WWDC 2017 cost $1,599, same as last year. (That's around £1,280 at current exchange rates - in 2016 the equivalent was only £1,082...)
Can I still get a WWDC ticket even if I didn't win the lottery?
If you were offered a ticket back in 2014, you needed to pay $1,599 (around £960) for the ticket by 15 April at 1am UK time. But some lottery winners didn't bother, and it was reported that some developers who'd missed out were offered the chance of buying an unclaimed ticket. It's possible that some second-chance offers will be left unclaimed, opening up the opportunity for a 'round three'.
WWDC Scholarship Program
In addition to the tickets issued to Developers, Apple also offers students the chance to win a free ticket to WWDC through the WWDC Scholarships program.
In the past, to apply for the scholarship, students had to create an app to submit to Apple. "This is your chance to showcase your talent with a thoughtful, engaging, well-made app," wrote Apple on its WWDC student webpage. "The content of your app should highlight development projects you've worked on, your educational and professional background, technical skills and interests."
On 6 March 2017, Apple posted details of this year's WWDC scholarships. Like the main ticket lottery, submissions opened on 27 March 2017. To be eligible, you must be 13 or older, registered as an Apple developer and enrolled (part-time or full-time) in educational, or be a member or alumnus of a STEM organisation.
The 2017 scholarships program will be judged on the strength of each applicant's uploaded Swift playground. "Create a visually interactive scene in a Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes," advises Apple. "Be creative."
You will also need to tell Apple a little about yourself, and describe the features and technologies used in the submitted playground, in 500 words or less.