Free services like WWDC Alerts have been created to address the problem by offering text and phone notifications when tickets go on sale, but if you’re interested in bidding on a premium notification, now you can pay to get priority with a service.
This WWDC 2013 Notification on Gumroad lets you reserve a spot in the alert’s SMS queue for €1 and wake-up calls will cost you another €1. Here’s the catch: if you pay more, you’ll get bumped up higher in the queue.
Developer Oisin Prendiville says running an exclusive club means “less chance of delayed delivery of messages.” If the messages don’t go out before tickets sell out, Prendiville promises to refund customers’ money.
Honestly, it’s kind of sad that this is what things have come to. Apple and its developers long ago outgrew the Moscone West Convention Center, which holds about 6,000 people in its main room. Apparently, if a fire marshal is on site, the third floor can hold up to 6,436 people in theater-style seating.
Numerous people were turned away last year, and it’s undoubtedly going to be the same situation this year. For those who rely on the event as a critical part of their livelihood, it might make sense to drop a few euros on a notification system to make sure that they get the tickets. Considering that last year’s tickets cost $1,599, it’s a small price to pay.
Still, this premium alert system is a temporary – and slightly elitist – fix. Apple needs to address the matter from the top down and figure out how to reconcile WWDC’s massive demand and the venue’s limited capacity.
Last year’s WWDC saw the introduction of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Apple also used the event to showcase its OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6 operating systems. The company also announced plans to power its own Maps app on iOS 6, which didn’t end up working out so well.