Update: Apple's WWDC sells out in 2 hours

Focus will be on Mountain Lion for OS X, and likely the next version of iOS

Apple today announced that its annual developers conference would run June 11-15 in San Francisco.

And inside of two hours, Apple said the event had sold out.

Tickets for the five-day Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) were again priced at $1,599, the same as for the last two years' confabs.

The quick sell-out wasn't a shock: A year ago, Apple exhausted supplies in under 12 hours, a huge acceleration over 2010, when tickets were available for eight days.

Another clue that WWDC would probably sell out quickly came last month, when Google booked up I/O within 20 minutes, a record for the developer conference.

Only Apple-registered developers may attend WWDC, but the entry bar is low: Programmers pay only $99 for a year's membership to the Cupertino, Calif. company's developer program, and there are no other eligibility requirements.

Unlike previous years, however, Apple has barred ticket resale, a move that's sure to irk scalpers, who have made hundreds, sometimes thousands, by turning tickets on eBay and Craigslist.

"WWDC tickets (including activation codes) are non-transferable and may not be sold, resold, or auctioned in any way," the WWDC website said. Ticket transfers among development team members will be considered on a case-by-case basis, Apple added.

Last year, tickets were shilled on eBay at prices from $2,125 to $4,599 a day after they ran out from Apple. Meanwhile, sellers on Craigslist were asking $800 to $900 above face value.

Apple did not describe how it will police the new no-resale rule, but one eBay seller either didn't get the memo or thought he could still unload his ticket.

"I purchased this ticket in fear of it selling out (which it did in 2 hours this year!), but my company purchased one for me as well, so I have an extra for anyone interested," said the seller, identified only as "wooden_rims."

By 1 p.m. ET, the top bid had reached $2,550.

Apple has not yet posted an agenda, saying only that, "Developers will learn about the future of iOS and OS X, allowing them to build incredible new apps."

But Apple did confirm the obvious, that WWDC will focus on Mountain Lion for OS X developers. Apple has promised to deliver the upgrade in late summer.

"Sessions for OS X developers will cover Mountain Lion extensively," Apple said on the WWDC site.

Also likely to be on the schedule: The next version of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad.

Apple has said nothing about an upcoming upgrade for iOS, but it regularly announces new editions at WWDC. It used last year's conference to introduce iOS 5, which powered the iPhone 4S when it launched four months later.

This will be the first WWDC for Apple since the death of former CEO Steve Jobs, who lost a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer last October. At the June 2011 event, Jobs, on medical leave at the time, took the stage during the opening-day keynote to introduce OS X 10.7, aka Lion.

If Apple hews to tradition, CEO Tim Cook will lead this year's keynote, which will probably take place on the morning of Monday, June 11, to kick off the conference.

WWDC sold out
This year's WWDC sold out in about two hours, four times faster than in 2011. (Image: Apple.)

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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