Apple Has Dropped the Ball with WWDC Preparations

| Editorial

Let’s look at the facts. Apple has been tardy and disorganized with the scheduling of WWDC this year. The result is a feeling that Apple has been a bit callous.

1. Announcement. Apple didn’t even announce WWDC until April 28th, a mere 40 days prior to the Sunday registration on June 6th. I’ve been attending WWDC since 1993, and, in the past, something closer to 60 days was the norm. Several developers and friends I spoke with aren’t attending because inadequate notice affected their ability to plan ahead. Of course, the delay didn’t stop WWDC from being sold out in eight days, but that has fallout as well. Those smaller developers who have plenty of latitude likely had no problem dealing with short notice. Some corporate and government attendees who need weeks for approvals were probably in a fix to make e-ticket and travel arrangements before the event was sold out.


WWDCCopyright 2010 John Martellaro


2. Keynote. We still don’t know if Steve Jobs will conduct the keynote — nothing has been announced. That means press passes are in limbo until keynote plans are official. An e-mail from Developer Programs shows Sunday, June 6, registration from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, but Monday registration starting at 7:00 am, so that suggests a keynote on Monday morning, June 7. So far, that’s the only indication Apple has provided two weeks and two days out.

3. WWDC Daily schedule. So far, Apple has listed the names and content of the sessions, but not the detailed daily schedule. That makes it very hard to plan ahead for side events such as meetings, interviews and so on. It would be nice to have the iCal file by now.

4. Professionalism. On May 20, Apple Developer Programs sent an e-mail asking for any required changes to our badges. That was nice. Yet the Subject line was: “WWDC badge and registration infromation.” Yep. Infromation. In all the time I’ve been involved with Apple, I’ve never seen a misspelling in any public communication*. It makes one wonder what’s going on behind the scenes in an event that seems hastily prepared and tardy in its organization this year.

Those are the facts. The appearance is that Apple staff members are stressed, overworked, and under resourced — combined with foot dragging from upper management. The result is a feeling that Apple has been callous in its pre-event organization of WWDC this year.


* Of course, the same cannot be said for me.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I’ve heard it mentioned elsewhere that it’s like they’re planning a funeral. Big picture… Do you get the sense that in asserting their control over time and place of announcements and rollouts (e.g. canceling summer MacWorld, then bowing out of January MacWorld), they have lost control over those things to competition, expectations, and the inevitable amount of misfortune that comes with being a big player in a tough market?

At any rate, a newly emboldened Google with activation data to back up the wildest marketshare assumptions about Android and an exciting, cooperative path forward are 5x the problem for Apple now as the Gizmodo debacle. Google’s day will be fresh in everyone’s mind the day of the WWDC keynote.


Yeah, it has all the signs of stress and resource shortages. I have seen this a lot in our current economic condition as those left working have to carry a much greater load.


With profits still strong, the iPad flying off shelves, a new iPhone in the wings, and exciting iPhone 4.0 update, strong Mac sales and more great stuff to come, I doubt that they are planning a funeral.

Yes, there are competitors but Apple is used to competition and they are winning in the best way possible - create compelling products the average person will love and find useful.

The iPhone, iPad, and iPod all proved that you don’t have to be the first to the market to win. Which makes me excited for Apple’s answer to GoogleTV. I’ve been holding off buying an AppleTV because of that.

Shawn King

“(e.g. canceling summer MacWorld…”

1) It’s “Macworld”...No capital W.

2) *Apple* never cancelled the summer Macworld. The company that runs Macworld Expo, IDG World Expo, cancelled that show.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

My bad on both counts Shawn. IDG cancelled it very soon after Apple pulled out. You’re right, but it’s borderline semantics. The East Coast show, having flipped between Boston and NYC, didn’t have any staying power without an Apple presence. Those were the most horrible shows ever to be an exhibitor at.


Shawn, do you really think correcting the Google glasses wearing Bosco is even going to be recognized. The guy makes so many false assertions in his posts that any valid point he makes is drowned in a sea of self delusion.

Shawn King

Sorry skipaq but I don’t know (nor do I care) who Bosco is. I simply posted a correction to some of his/her facts. I didn’t feel the need to gratuitously slam him/her as well.

Mark Hernandez

The title of this article is “factual” -> Apple has dropped the ball.  A bold claim.

Shouldn’t it be “Is Apple dropping the ball with WWDC?” and then provide your light list of “clues”?  What about all the things they may be setting up for a big surprise or possibly different? We need to wait and see.

Many thought that the end of July was when the Moscone Center was scheduled for WWDC.  Perhaps it became clear that it had to be moved forward for some reason, and after considering the disadvantages, they decided to move it forward anyway.

And you’ve no-doubt seen the 10 Ghosts of WWDC Past article and notice that things keep changing with WWDC every year.

Of course, WWDC is clearly an event for the privileged few (only 5,000 people), and each year that becomes a smaller and smaller fraction of the now possibly 85K iPhoneOS developers out there.

Some people may only have had 40 days notice instead of the 60 days this year.  But what about those who realize a month after WWDC happens that they want to play in the market too?  They have to wait a whole year!

The whole thing is unfair.  The only thing people really miss out on is access to the 1,000 engineers, since Apple makes all the session videos available a couple weeks after the event planet-wide, and the keynote address is published later that day.

So, is this really a big deal?

I knew WWDC was coming, and I bought my ticket within an hour of tickets being made available.  If you really wanted to go reeeeely bad, well, where there’s a will there’s a way, even in big corporations.

But if you can’t make it, don’t sweat it.



Sheesh, the event sold out. Can Apple do anything right these days?

adam jackson

You’re using my photo without proper attribution. Please credit the photo and link to the original photo here

Failure to do so will result in my reporting this use to Flickr / Yahoo.


?ve heard it mentioned elsewhere that it?s like they?re planning a funeral. Big picture?

The only funeral that is happening is Adobe’s Flash.  A dead-end that I’m sure you know all about Bosco.  I’m sure that is what’s keeping you up at nights. smile

John Martellaro

Adam:  The photo was in our archive, and shouldn’t have been there.  It was removed from the article and will be removed from our archive.


Let’s hope that now that the iPad is out, the iPhone G4, iPhone OS4 and the latest update of OS-X are nearly out, that Apple can get back to more routine stuff. Updating their Mac line, which is getting rather long in the tooth, and getting on top of this ‘callousness’, I would have called it sloppiness but the intent is the same. I get the feeling that Apple staff have been stretched a bit too thin the last couple of years.

OTOH it has been a heck of a ride.


Wow everyone seems to know better than Apple at what they are doing except they don’t create anything that change the world. And these bloggers are so full of themselves.


Has anyone taken into account the volcano in Iceland with the unpronounceable name and it’s ability to screw with travel plans ?

I don’t know how many WWDC attendees travel from the Euro Zone…..

Some Guy

I’ve attended every WWDC since 1997, and I agree that Apple WWDR is dropping the ball.  The union-infested catering at the Moscone center is crap (just try to find a soda that anyone would actually *want*), the venue is *way* too small, capping attendance at only 5K is absurd, and It’s entirely the fault of WWDR management that they’ve let the staff of their department dwindle while the number of developers has skyrocketed. 

On top of that, announcing the date only 40 days out was a slipshod, half-assed move.

Let’s get someone who’s competent to run that department back in charge.  What’s Guy Kawasaki up to lately?

Dorkus Maximus

You say “The result is a feeling that Apple has been a bit callous.” Okay, there’s this “feeling.” What do you think? Has Apple been “callous”?

As for misspelling “information,” there’s really no excuse, and certainly lack of time is no excuse. This was a case of someone ignoring spell check. Plain and simple. A mistake like that is due to carelessness, not callousness.

Chandra Coomar

What’s up? Are you losing it?


Wow, John Martellaro is an idiot. Not enough planning days? Oh, 40 days is not enough for people to get permission to go?  What, are you that stupid? WWDC has been scheduled for Jun-Aug for the past decade. What, did you forget? I started planning in January because, guess what, I *knew* Apple would have WWDC ready for June.

Selling out in 8 days proves you’re an idiot.  Keynotes and daily schedule are released the week before WWDC. Being a public company with over $230 Billion in market cap, it’s actually pretty important not to release information until you’re ready.

You should go to MS TechED or Google I/O, we don’t need you and your fancy pants supporters.

Yikes, grow up.


Bosco, you’re even dumber than John Martellaro.

I?ve heard it mentioned elsewhere that it?s like they?re planning a funeral. Big picture? Do you get the sense that in asserting their control over time and place of announcements and rollouts (e.g. canceling summer MacWorld, then bowing out of January MacWorld), they have lost control over those things to competition, expectations, and the inevitable amount of misfortune that comes with being a big player in a tough market?


Dude, how about decaf from now on.


I agree. TMO is a place where we can all disagree with Che Bosco in a civil manner.

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