Ahead of the release of the M1 Macs, Apple provided developers with a Developer Transition Kit that included a Mac mini equipped with an A12Z Bionic chip first used in the iPad Pro, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, and an HDMI 2.0 port.
These DTKs were offered up on a temporary basis to developers who paid $500 for access, and were aimed at giving developers a way to create Universal apps to prepare for the transition from Intel processors to Apple silicon chips.
Apple is now asking developers to return their Developer Transition Kits in exchange for a one-time use code that will provide a $200 discount on an M1 Mac.
Thank you for participating in the Universal App Quick Start Program and your continued commitment to building great apps for Mac. Response to the new Macs has been incredible, and we love the fantastic experiences developers like you have already created for Mac users.
Now that the new MacBook Air, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro powered by M1 are available, it’ll soon be time to return the Developer Transition Kit (DTK) that was sent to you as part of the program. Please locate the original packaging for use in returning the DTK. We’ll email you in a few weeks with instructions for returning the DTK.
In appreciation of your participation in the program and to help with your continued development of Universal apps, you’ll receive a one-time use code for 200 USD to use toward the purchase of a Mac with M1, upon confirmed return of the DTK. Until your program membership expires one year after your membership start date, you’ll have continued access to other program benefits such as Technical Support incidents and private discussion forums.
Apple first sent out Developer Transition Kits at the end of June, so developers have had them on hand for the last seven months. Developers were meant to have a year with the DTK for app development purposes, but other benefits that include a private discussion forum and technical support will continue to be available for the full 12 month period.
Some developers are unhappy with Apple’s compensation given the initial $500 price of the DTK program and the bugs that were experienced that made using the DTK difficult. The last time Apple had a similar program for the transition from PowerPC to Intel chips, Apple provided developers with the first Intel-based Mac for free.
TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS? That doesn’t even go a third of the way towards the cheapest M1 Mac. It just about covers the 4 months the DTK was usable out of the 12 month lease you paid for
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) February 3, 2021
$200 and use by the end of May. Extremely poor considering how unusable the DTK became that you had to buy an M1 already. Very, very disappointed
— Neil Kerr (@nfjkerr) February 4, 2021
It’s an absolute joke. I’ve been waiting for nearly three months to get my unusable DTK replaced with a useable one, still radio silence from Apple after agreeing to replace it. Along with the fact it must be used by May 31st. Very disappointed
— Alpha (@AlphaNDB) February 4, 2021
“Hi pls return your DTK you paid $500 to borrow. As a token of our gratitude, here enough money to buy 1/6th of a M1 Mac. Thanks!”
— Adam Bell (@b3ll) February 4, 2021
The $200 credit can be used for any Mac, and the $699 Mac mini would be the cheapest option available to developers who want to pick up a new M1 Mac for continued development. The credit must be used by the end of May.