Apple snubs iPhone developers at end of WWDC

A first-hand account from the final session of Apple’s 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) claims the company actively avoided facing the questions of many iPhone developers. Tumblr and Instapaper developer Marco Arment reports that the final session of WWDC ‘09, which he attended, was about publishing on the App Store, and although the content of the session is under NDA, Arment claims the session was more notable for what it didn’t contain. Arment writes, “So I’ll tell you what wasn’t in it: the audience Q&A session that succeeded nearly every other WWDC session and usually provided invaluable access to Apple employees and useful additional knowledge to attendees. The session itself blew through its lightweight examples quickly, ending 45 minutes early. The majority of the audience was clearly there for the Q&A. As people lined up at the microphones around the room, the presenter abruptly showed a simple slide with only ‘WWDC’ in plain lettering, thanked us for coming, and bolted off the stage. The Apple engineers, usually staying around the stage for one-on-one questions, were gone. The lights came up instantly, and it was the only session that didn’t end in music. The audience was stunned.”

“It was a giant middle finger to iPhone developers. And that’s the closing impression that Apple gave us for WWDC. Clearly, they had absolutely no interest in fielding even a single question from the topic that we have the most questions about,” he continues. “This went far beyond reluctant tolerance. It’s hard to interpret it as anything else except blatant hostility. We could probably have a more open discussion with Kim Jong-il about North Korea’s nuclear policy.” A separate report from earlier in the week suggests the company may have been trying to sidestep questions from developers regarding the company’s opaque and sometimes frustrating iPhone application approval process, as developers were unable to get answers about their rejections, even when speaking face-to-face with Apple employees during the event. [via DF]

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