Apple sets WWDC for June 5-9, leaves San Francisco

Developers conference moves south to San Jose, closer to Apple's HQ

wwdc san jose 2017
Credit: Apple

Apple today set June 5-9 as the dates for its 2017 annual developers conference, but said it would move the confab to San Jose, Calif. after 13 years in San Francisco.

The announcement was weeks earlier than usual; Apple has typically trumpeted the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) much closer to the event. Last year, for instance, it waited until mid-April before revealing WWDC's dates.

WWDC, particularly its opening keynote, has been one of Apple's annual milestones for industry analysts and the media because the Cupertino, Calif. company uses it to preview the next edition of iOS, its most important operating system, as well as tout changes in the upgrades to macOS, watchOS and tvOS.

This year's WWDC will open Monday, June 5, with a keynote led by CEO Tim Cook and backed by a supporting cast that will almost certainly include senior executives Craig Federighi, who runs the company's software engineering groups, and Philip Schiller, Apple's lead marketer.

That keynote will begin at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET), and Apple will undoubtedly live-stream the hours-long event to the public as it has in the past.

If Apple sticks with its habit, the company will also release beta code for its various OSes to developers at the conference, then launch the upgrades in the fall.

The last six years Apple has handed developers an iOS SDK (software development kit) at June's WWDC, then unveiled new iPhones in September (2012-2016) or October (2011). Apple launched the current macOS -- Sierra -- in September 2016, and shipped its predecessor, OS X El Capitan, the same month in 2015.

WWDC's move to San Jose's McEnery Convention Center ended a 13-year run at San Francisco's Moscone Center, and a return to the former city: The last venue prior to Moscone was San Jose, which hosted the then-smaller conference from 1988 until 2002.

In a press release, Apple hinted at a reason for shifting to San Jose, saying the new locale was "located just minutes from Apple's new headquarters." That new campus, which is still under construction -- its planning was among the last things that co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs personally oversaw before his death in 2011 -- is considerably closer to San Jose than to San Francisco.

Tickets for WWDC will go on sale March 27 at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET), and as in past years, will be allocated after a random drawing. In 2014, the lottery replaced the first-come-first-served practice, which had irked developers who missed the window of opportunity when tickets sold out in minutes.

Those tickets have again been priced at $1,599.

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