Now Apple has three major hardware/software platforms on the market and is one of the biggest computing platform companies in the world, shouldn't it have more than one developer conference? Its Worldwide Developers Conference is great, but by any measure, it's limited.
The MacTech Conference 2012 in Los Angeles opens on Oct. 17 and runs through the 19th. The conference will offer two primary tracks: developers and IT with a number of joint sessions. The sessions target both desktop and mobile platforms, as well as OS X and iOS. It's all practical stuff.
The deadline for the early-bird $300 preregistration discount is on Sept. 15, coming up quickly.
MacTech runs a number of different educational events, including Boot Camps, which are one-day seminars for consultants, and MacTech InDepth seminars that focus on a single topic with speakers and solution providers.
These are useful and excellent events but there's growing demand in business for Apple platform support. Apple needs to be more proactive in the education and support for its developers and Apple managers. For this year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple opened registration on April 25 and closed it on the same day. All 5,000 seats were gone in 12 hours.
Years ago, Apple engineers would come up to the San Francisco Macworld Expo and meet with developers. No longer. Apple seems to believe that videos of the WWDC sessions will suffice.
At the recent financial analysts call, Apple bigwigs said that the company had sold more than 26 million iPads in the first half of this year and that there have been 410 million iOS "ecosystem " devices sold (meaning iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch units). They said 17 million iPads were sold in the June quarter.
On the Mac front, 4 million Macs were sold in the June quarter. CEO Tim Cook expects next quarter to continue the trend of 25 consecutive quarters of Mac sales growing faster than the rest of the PC market.
Yet with all this growth and increase in platform share, Apple still has room for only one developers conference? Crazy.
Microsoft offers a number of conferences, supporting different market segments. Certainly, developers could use additional conferences on iOS development and interface paradigms, as well as a OS X-centric conference.