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Apple offers developers $99 day pass to access compatibility labs

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Members of the Mac Developer Program now have the option of paying $99 for one day of access to Apple's wide array of resources found in its hardware compatibility labs.

As noted this week by Macworld, the $99 Single Lab Day Pass is a new addition for members of the Mac Developer program. It offers developers access to one of Apple's labs -- located in Cupertino, Calif., and Tokyo, Japan -- between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Previously, only members of the Apple Developer Connection could access the labs to test their software on a variety of Mac hardware configurations. But earlier this year, Apple discontinued the ADC and renamed it the Mac Developer Program, with a new, lower annual price of $99. Previously, developers had to pay between $499 for the "Select" tier and $3,499 for the "Premier" categorization of the Apple Developer Connection.

Developers who have an ADC membership will maintain full access, benefits and services until it expires, which includes two or three free monthly visits to the compatibility labs, depending on level of service. But for those under the new Mac Developer program, they will need to buy a $99 day pass.

Apple says that with a Single Lab Day Pass, developers at the Compatibility Labs can:
Test your products against new and older versions of Apple products, including domestic and international versions of Mac OS X per your request.
Receive immediate hands-on response to your testing needs from our lab support team.
Access a range of networking environments that include direct internet access, 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet and Airport wireless base stations with 802.11 a/b/g/n support.
Work in a confidential, climate controlled testing lab.


Up to ten developers, each of whom must be registered with Apple, can obtain a day pass. After setting up an appointment for a specific day, they will be able to go to one of the company's labs -- three of which are located at the Cupertino headquarters.

"(The labs contain) a truly enormous amount of Mac hardware, from recent versions of many models to older Power Macs, PowerBooks, and iBooks--they even have G4 cubes," the report said. A complete list of hardware is available on the official Compatibility Labs Equipment List. "Apple says it has more than 500 configurations on hand for compatibility testing, along with plenty of accessories and networking hardware."
post #2 of 20
That seems like a pretty neat idea. Would be good if they did some sort of VNC setup to allow developers who don't live in the Bay Area or wherever the Japan lab is to benefit too.
post #3 of 20
Wow, they dropped developer prices to $99/year.

don't developers get significant (way more than $99) discounts on hardware?

seems like a nice little strategy for me next time I need to upgrade my hardware!
post #4 of 20
Kind of sobering to see that I have owned about 75% of all of those macs they have in the complete listing.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

Kind of sobering to see that I have owned about 75% of all of those macs they have in the complete listing.


I see you're in France. Perhaps you could capitalise on it by opening your own lab then, seeing as Apple doesnt have one in Europe
post #6 of 20
Potential customers should compare the cost of getting to one of Apple's labs with the cost of buying this hardware on eBay.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

Wow, they dropped developer prices to $99/year.

don't developers get significant (way more than $99) discounts on hardware?

seems like a nice little strategy for me next time I need to upgrade my hardware!

Sadly, those discounts went away when the membership price dropped to $99.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

Wow, they dropped developer prices to $99/year.

don't developers get significant (way more than $99) discounts on hardware?

Only as part of the ADC program which is going away.
Current members keep the ADC membership until it expires then they can choose one/all of the three new developer programs (Mac, iPhone, Safari).
The new developer programs do not give price breaks for development hardware.
post #9 of 20
If anyone at Apple is reading this, it would be really helpful if a similar program existed for iPhone developers.

I'm developing an app for iPhone and have an iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 (iPhone 3G no longer has a working SIM card since I upgraded to iPhone 4). I would really like to be able to test my app on different versions of the device (running different versions of the OS) without having to buy a half dozen phones and multiple AT&T contracts.
post #10 of 20
But do you get to se the oompa loompas?
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

Wow, they dropped developer prices to $99/year.

don't developers get significant (way more than $99) discounts on hardware?

seems like a nice little strategy for me next time I need to upgrade my hardware!

99 USD for single DAY
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman. View Post

99 USD for single DAY

No, the developer program is $99 per year. In addition, if you wish to use the lab, it's $99 per day.
post #13 of 20
Steve Ballmer understands the importance of developers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8To-6VIJZRE

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #14 of 20
I think these labs are a perfect example of how Apple manages to keep the user experience so high. It is inconceivable to imagine such a lab for the Windows environment. Once IBM relinquished control over the hardware, all was lost.
post #15 of 20
Woah, I am so going to check it out in Tokyo.
post #16 of 20
500 configurations? That seems like a nice place for a museum of Apple hardware Charge people $5, and I'll bet thousands will flock to the labs for guided tours
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Steve Ballmer understands the importance of developers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8To-6VIJZRE


Why the need to make an irrelevant dig? How does this contribute to the discussion? Is it any wonder why Apple -- due to acts like this -- elicit similar unwanted animosity from Windows users?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

I think these labs are a perfect example of how Apple manages to keep the user experience so high. It is inconceivable to imagine such a lab for the Windows environment. Once IBM relinquished control over the hardware, all was lost.


Where does IBM come in?

CGC
post #18 of 20
I still miss the hardware discounts for developers. I have no interest in sucking up to an Apple business rep in order to get a few measly percent off either.
post #19 of 20
I applaud Apple for instituting this program. This would be another way to engender loyalty among Apple Apps developers. It would be a wise investment for some of their $44 billion and growing war chest.

Focus and Apple products to test

Since it is a one-day pass -- with limited time (as it is scheduled for a slot with the appointed date) -- how in the world could someone be able to test all those 500 Apple products? Unless I missed something Apple Apps, from the perspective of the consumers, are viewed mainly (if not exclusively by consumers) through Apple iOS mobile products, in various iOS permutations?

Regional Centers

Apple has the geographic location of the registered developers. More than likely, many individual developers are struggling just to make ends meet. Many of these developers could not afford to go to the current centers.

Thus, I hope Apple would expand the program more gradually to include regional centers for these labs -- more in the US (outside of Cupertino), Europe, more Asia (outside of Tokyo), etc.

In the beginning, these regional centers need not include all 500 Apple products configurations. It could focus on all iOS mobile products in the various iOS versions permutations. These are the priority targets of the Apps. It is also the various -- iOS mobile products in the various iOS versions permutations -- that will be in the hands of most Apple Apps customers.

The next priority products would be servers, useful for network apps (server -> iOS mobile products). Then possibly the Mac OSX products during the last 5 years, but why (see above)?

Such regional centers may not be good enough for certain more sophisticated applications. For example those target large businesses, science, biomedicine, technology, etc. But the likely developers for these more sophisticated Apps either better funded (most likely company developers). They could afford a trek to the existing complete Labs. Similarly, individuals who aspire to develop Apps intended for more sophisticated use must afford and be willing to spend the money to visit the more complete labs.

Experts


The key factor that may limit the establishment of such regional centers would be the availity of technical experts with good PR qualities.

CGC
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jg_gamer View Post

I'm developing an app for iPhone and have an iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 (iPhone 3G no longer has a working SIM card since I upgraded to iPhone 4). I would really like to be able to test my app on different versions of the device (running different versions of the OS) without having to buy a half dozen phones and multiple AT&T contracts.

I'm in the same situation (have old iPhones with no SIM cards for them). I just hacktivate the old iPhones when I upgrade the firmware on them (no jailbreak, just fake activation).
 
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