Anticipation is building ahead of this summer's WWDC 2019, the company's week-long developer conference, which will (almost certainly) be held 3-7 June in San Jose, California. Tickets to the event are distributed by a lottery, in which developers are selected at random to attend, although they still have the ticket price.
In this article we explain how to get WWDC tickets, how the lottery works, and how much tickets are likely to cost.
The WWDC ticket lottery
Tickets to WWDC are distributed by lottery, but be warned that you still have to pay for the ticket if you win, and it's pretty expensive.
(Why a lottery? Back in 2012, all 5,000 WWDC tickets sold out within two hours of being released, and in 2013 it took just two minutes; many developers who missed out were far from happy. So in 2014 Apple adopted a new approach that it hoped would be fairer.)
The ticket lottery for WWDC 2019 hasn't yet opened, but when it does, you'll be able to register here. Expect the lottery to open in mid March, and to remain open for around a week and a half; in 2018 it ran from 13-22 March, closing strictly at 10am on the final day.
How do I know if I've won a ticket?
Apple emails lottery winners within a day or so of registration closing. 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 2019.
"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."
Hopefully you'll receive an email with a rather more positive message.
In addition to the tickets issued to developers, Apple also offers students and schoolchildren the chance to win a free ticket to the conference through the WWDC Scholarships scheme. "Your talent and enthusiasm could take you all the way to WWDC," the company says on its scholarships web page.
Submissions for the 2018 scholarships were open from 26 March to 1 April. To be eligible, you had to be 13 or older, registered as an Apple developer (which is free), and enrolled part-time or full-time in education or a member of an organisation that promotes the learning of science, technology, engineering or maths outside the standard school curriculum.
Most importantly, you had to create "an interactive scene in a Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes". Submissions were judged on the technical accomplishment and creativity of each applicant's playground.
Last year it was reported that scholarship winners started to be notified around 23 Apr. To find out more about Apple's WWDC Scholarships, click here. And for advice on getting started, see How to use Swift Playgrounds.
If you didn't win in the ticket lottery or scholarship programme there's still one other way you can attend.
You might get the chance to buy an unclaimed ticket, so you should regularly check your inbox and Apple's WWDC microsite for updates.
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 even possible that some second-chance offers will be left unclaimed, opening up the opportunity for a 'round three'.
How much do WWDC 2018 tickets cost?
Scholars get to attend WWDC for free, but ticket lottery winners have to pay.
Tickets to WWDC in 2016, 2017 and 2018 cost $1,599 (around £1,230 at current exchange rates) so we imagine it'll cost the same or roughly the same in 2019.