Tickets for Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference went on sale today at 10 AM Pacific, 1 PM Eastern, and as expected, sold out in record time, at just under 2 minutes. Tickets for the developer-focused event at San Francisco’s Moscone West, which features presentations and one-on-one time with Apple’s own in-house engineers, sold out in just two hours in 2012, in under 12 hours in 2011, and in eight days in 2010.
Apple’s tickets sold out 95 percent faster than Google’s tickets for its own annual I/O developer conference, which is taking place May 15 – 17 this year, and which took 49 minutes to sell out. I/O 2012 tickets sold out in just 30 minutes, however, as things took longer this time because of a general inability to complete the check-out process for a large percentage of users early on.
WWDC 2013 marks the first time Apple will be making conference video available during the conference itself, instead of after the event. That should alleviate some of the need of actually being there on the ground for registered Apple developers who want to take advantage of the sessions. This year also marks the first time Apple has provided advance notice regarding when tickets would go on sale, which almost definitely contributed to the faster-than usual sell-out this time around. Imagine a crop of millions of developers around the world hovering over their computers, waiting for the buying process to go live.
The quick sell-out is made more impressive by the fact that sales of the $1,599 tickets were limited to just one per person, and five per organization, tracked by individual Apple ID. During a previous keynote, former CEO Steve Jobs said that there were over 5,000 attendees at the show, which means that Apple potentially just made as much as $8 million in roughly 90 seconds in gross revenue from the event.
Apple’s developer economy is now a massive industry, having paid out $9 billion in total to developers, at a rate now of around $1 billion per quarter. Both iPhone and iPad audiences continue to grow, and Apple’s tablet especially showed tremendous progress during Apple’s most recent fiscal quarter. While Mac sales seem to be either flat or on the decline, the global growth of the iOS user pool more than makes up for that, and iOS as a platform is still the primary revenue driver when it comes to mobile apps and advertising. Combined, those factors mean interest in tickets for WWDC isn’t likely to flag anytime soon.