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Apple needs to rethink its WWDC approach

Philip Michaels | April 27, 2012
As a company, Apple gets a lot of things right. It built a phone that set the standard for an entire industry, with handset makers still playing catch up with the iPhone five years after that product's debut. With the iPad, Apple created a product we didn't even realize we needed and now can't possibly imagine living without. And, lest we forget, it also does a respectable business making computers.

Finally, in this age of video conferencing, it seems like the technology exists to include more developers even without expanding the capacity at WWDC. Yes, Apple makes videos of WWDC sessions available to developers after the event, and that's a great move, but those videos aren't available until weeks later. (On its WWDC Web page informing developers that the 2012 event is sold out, Apple indicates that it will make videos of all sessions available for free "shortly after the conference.") A separate remote video track for developers who don't have the opportunity to be at WWDC in person may not provide all the depth that attendees in San Francisco enjoy, but it gives more iOS and Mac software makers the chance to participate in some way.

It's possible--more than possible really--that any one of these ideas brings its own set of flaws and drawbacks. But they strike me as more fair and reasonable than what Apple rolled out on Wednesday. More important, they acknowledge in some way that Apple values the developers who've contributed in some way to the company's recent successes.


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