Apple requests return of Apple Silicon Developer Transition Kits, offers $200 toward purch...

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited February 3
Apple on Wednesday said it will soon request developers who took part in the Universal App Quick Start Program to return their Developer Transition Kit, a custom Mac mini powered by an A12Z Bionic system-on-chip.

Apple Silicon DTK


The company in an email notified developers that it will "soon be time to return" the DTK, hardware issued to prepare app makers for the release of Apple Silicon Macs.

"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," Apple says.

Fitted with an A12Z, the Mac mini was equipped with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, two USB-C ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, trappings designed to mimic the first M1 Mac computers. It came loaded with a beta version of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12.

Developers accepted into the Universal App Quick Start Program were charged a $500 fee for access to the DTK. Apple is not refunding the $500, though it is offering a $200 promotional code that can be used toward the purchase of a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or Mac mini equipped with an M1 chip. Codes will be sent out upon receipt of returned DTKs and must be redeemed by May 31, 2021.

Some app makers are not pleased with Apple's compensation structure. As noted by Steve Troughton-Smith, $200 doesn't cover a third of the cost of Apple's cheapest M1 Mac, the $700 Mac mini.

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)


Apple says developers can expect to be contact in the next "few weeks" with instructions on how to return the test box.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58

    Did the $500 cover a 12-month lease? Is that in writing somewhere, and now Apple is asking for the units back early? Or were they sent out late? I don't understand the complaining. Apple is not a charity. It costs money to run a business (in terms of the developer being in business... I think some of them forget that).

    williamlondonjdb8167lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 58

    Followup...

    Yes, the DTK does state ONE YEAR, but also states that the program may be terminated early with written notice by either party (developer or Apple). So any developer that was approved for the DTK also agreed to these terms. Therefore, no complaining is warranted.

    https://developer.apple.com/terms/universal-app-quick-start-program/Developer-Universal-App-Quick-Start-Program.pdf

    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    edited February 3 Xedwilliamlondonjdb8167lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 58
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,388member
    Seems a bit weird to not just let them keep it. $500 for a year is pretty steep. It's not like Apple is going to use them, they'll go in the bin.

    coolfactor said:

    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Hardly.  Apple offered a "free" iMac in exchange for returning the Intel DTK. And those iMacs were $1699 at release, whereas the DTK was $999. But of course that was Steve's developer respecting Apple, not Cook's profit profit profit Apple. Remember without these devs, macOS wouldn't have anywhere near the appeal it does now.
    edited February 3 narwhalmuthuk_vanalingamaknabiindieshack
  • Reply 4 of 58
    XedXed Posts: 1,053member
    elijahg said:
    Seems a bit weird to not just let them keep it. $500 for a year is pretty steep. It's not like Apple is going to use them, they'll go in the bin.

    coolfactor said:

    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Hardly.  Apple offered a "free" iMac in exchange for returning the Intel DTK. And those iMacs were $1699 at release, whereas the DTK was $999. But of course that was Steve's developer respecting Apple, not Cook's profit profit profit Apple. Remember without these devs, macOS wouldn't have anywhere near the appeal it does now.
    Your argument is that Cook's Apple is only about "profit profit profit" but right before that you question why Apple would even bother with an assumption that these devices will end up in a bin so Apple is both losing money on giving $200 per DTK and paying for it to be shipped back and processed by Apple. So which is it?
    Fidonet127williamlondonjdb8167lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 58
    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Just out of curiosity, are you a small developer who ported his apps to Apple Silicon using the DTK, and is now faced with going without an Apple Silicon machine for a month? I have to PACK UP my DTK, wait for apple to issue a coupon, then order an M1 Mac mini (wait time is 3 weeks now for 16 GB version). It would make a LITTLE more sense if we could replace the mini before sending it back; but going a month without an AS dev/test machine is CRAZY!
    muthuk_vanalingamdm3williamlondoncloudguyFrancescoB
  • Reply 6 of 58
    XedXed Posts: 1,053member
    narwhal said:
    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Just out of curiosity, are you a small developer who ported his apps to Apple Silicon using the DTK, and is now faced with going without an Apple Silicon machine for a month? I have to PACK UP my DTK, wait for apple to issue a coupon, then order an M1 Mac mini (wait time is 3 weeks now for 16 GB version). It would make a LITTLE more sense if we could replace the mini before sending it back; but going a month without an AS dev/test machine is CRAZY!
    You could afford the $500 for the DTK but not the $600 for an M1 Mac mini?
    randominternetpersonfastasleepwilliamlondonjdb8167lolliverwatto_cobradewme
  • Reply 7 of 58
    A DTK is collecting dust on my desk.  So I'm happy to return it.  But it wasn't very useful.  I only had it five months.  I submitted one bug.  One of Apple's own command line apps segment faulted out of box.  I never heard back.  

    I already bought an M1 airbook to chase down the problem and see if slightly different hardware made it go away.  Nope.  The bug affected both A12Z and M1.  So ouch.  A coupon totally sucks unless Apple is willing to apply it retroactively to the airbook.

    I'm guessing this might affect participation in Apple's next "you pay us to QA or stuff" opportunity. 

    williamlondonelijahgjdb8167cloudguy
  • Reply 8 of 58
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,388member
    Xed said:
    elijahg said:
    Seems a bit weird to not just let them keep it. $500 for a year is pretty steep. It's not like Apple is going to use them, they'll go in the bin.

    coolfactor said:

    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Hardly.  Apple offered a "free" iMac in exchange for returning the Intel DTK. And those iMacs were $1699 at release, whereas the DTK was $999. But of course that was Steve's developer respecting Apple, not Cook's profit profit profit Apple. Remember without these devs, macOS wouldn't have anywhere near the appeal it does now.
    Your argument is that Cook's Apple is only about "profit profit profit" but right before that you question why Apple would even bother with an assumption that these devices will end up in a bin so Apple is both losing money on giving $200 per DTK and paying for it to be shipped back and processed by Apple. So which is it?
    Because then developers will have to buy an M1 Mac, rather than continuing to use the DTK. Even minus $200 that's still $1099 extra in Apple's bank if they get the 13" MBP, or $499 if they get the Mini.

    I notice you ignored my the part where I mentioned the free $1699 iMac devs got in the Jobs era. Why is that not a thing now, when Apple is vastly richer than back then? 
    edited February 3 narwhalmuthuk_vanalingamcloudguy
  • Reply 9 of 58
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,388member
    narwhal said:
    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Just out of curiosity, are you a small developer who ported his apps to Apple Silicon using the DTK, and is now faced with going without an Apple Silicon machine for a month? I have to PACK UP my DTK, wait for apple to issue a coupon, then order an M1 Mac mini (wait time is 3 weeks now for 16 GB version). It would make a LITTLE more sense if we could replace the mini before sending it back; but going a month without an AS dev/test machine is CRAZY!
    That's another point regarding the Intel DTK, the free iMacs sent out were also delivered before the DTK had to go back. So devs could transfer data and not have downtime. Doesn't seem too well thought out this time around.
    edited February 3 narwhalmuthuk_vanalingamcloudguy
  • Reply 10 of 58
    I’m surprised Apple announced this on a Wednesday. This is the type of news a government or unscrupulous corporation announces Friday evening before a long weekend.
    elijahggenkurodm3williamlondonmarklarklolliverindieshack
  • Reply 11 of 58
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,181member
    Seems like they would have just done an even swap...so like the $699 M1 Mac mini and you return the developer Mac mini back to Apple. They could have even done something like hold the value of the M1 Mac mini on a credit card until the developer Mac mini was returned as a safety for Apple in case developers wanted to be sneaky and not ship back the developer Mac. 
    genkuroelijahgdm3watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 58
    elijahg said:
    narwhal said:
    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Just out of curiosity, are you a small developer who ported his apps to Apple Silicon using the DTK, and is now faced with going without an Apple Silicon machine for a month? I have to PACK UP my DTK, wait for apple to issue a coupon, then order an M1 Mac mini (wait time is 3 weeks now for 16 GB version). It would make a LITTLE more sense if we could replace the mini before sending it back; but going a month without an AS dev/test machine is CRAZY!
    That's another point regarding the Intel DTK, the free iMacs sent out were also delivered before the DTK had to go back. So devs could transfer data and not have downtime. Doesn't seem too well thought out this time around.
    You're really grasping at straws here.  Your theory is that these Mac OS developers don't have another Mac?  Their entire enterprise is based on a prototype that they got a few months ago?

    Also, if I give you a gift of a $1600 computer a decade ago, that doesn't mean giving you $200 today wouldn't be a "gift."  Except in today's entitled culture I suppose.  Get off my lawn.
    XedFidonet127williamlondonjdb8167marklarkwatto_cobradewme
  • Reply 13 of 58

    narwhal said:
    I’m surprised Apple announced this on a Wednesday. This is the type of news a government or unscrupulous corporation announces Friday evening before a long weekend.
    Nope.  It's pretty much routine administrative communication that shouldn't have surprised anyone.  Unless you can show me where Apple said "Pay $500 now to get early access to prototype and in a few months we'll hook you up!"
    williamlondonmike1jdb8167watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 58
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,388member
    elijahg said:
    narwhal said:
    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Just out of curiosity, are you a small developer who ported his apps to Apple Silicon using the DTK, and is now faced with going without an Apple Silicon machine for a month? I have to PACK UP my DTK, wait for apple to issue a coupon, then order an M1 Mac mini (wait time is 3 weeks now for 16 GB version). It would make a LITTLE more sense if we could replace the mini before sending it back; but going a month without an AS dev/test machine is CRAZY!
    That's another point regarding the Intel DTK, the free iMacs sent out were also delivered before the DTK had to go back. So devs could transfer data and not have downtime. Doesn't seem too well thought out this time around.
    You're really grasping at straws here.  Your theory is that these Mac OS developers don't have another Mac?  Their entire enterprise is based on a prototype that they got a few months ago?

    Also, if I give you a gift of a $1600 computer a decade ago, that doesn't mean giving you $200 today wouldn't be a "gift."  Except in today's entitled culture I suppose.  Get off my lawn.
    Another ASi Mac, probably not. They very well may have an Intel iMac for example, then got a dev kit to use for ASi, and now they have to buy another Mac to use just for ASi testing. 

    No, but it is called a comparison. It is a pretty measly "gift" compared to an iMac, which Apple said at the time was in appreciation of the work devs put in to recompile their apps. Yes, very "entitled" to expect the biggest company in the world to look a little more favourably on the devs who make their platform as diverse, the devs who ultimately help Apple vacuum up money. Unfortunately for you, this isn't your "lawn," it is a forum to discuss. You do not set the rules nor decide who can post nor what.
    edited February 3 dm3muthuk_vanalingamblurpbleepbloopcloudguy
  • Reply 15 of 58
    XedXed Posts: 1,053member
    elijahg said:
    Xed said:
    elijahg said:
    Seems a bit weird to not just let them keep it. $500 for a year is pretty steep. It's not like Apple is going to use them, they'll go in the bin.

    coolfactor said:

    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Hardly.  Apple offered a "free" iMac in exchange for returning the Intel DTK. And those iMacs were $1699 at release, whereas the DTK was $999. But of course that was Steve's developer respecting Apple, not Cook's profit profit profit Apple. Remember without these devs, macOS wouldn't have anywhere near the appeal it does now.
    Your argument is that Cook's Apple is only about "profit profit profit" but right before that you question why Apple would even bother with an assumption that these devices will end up in a bin so Apple is both losing money on giving $200 per DTK and paying for it to be shipped back and processed by Apple. So which is it?
    Because then developers will have to buy an M1 Mac, rather than continuing to use the DTK. Even minus $200 that's still $1099 extra in Apple's bank if they get the 13" MBP, or $499 if they get the Mini.

    I notice you ignored my the part where I mentioned the free $1699 iMac devs got in the Jobs era. Why is that not a thing now, when Apple is vastly richer than back then? 
    I didn't ignore any part of your comment. What an entity did in their past is irrelevant to what they should have to do in their future. If Apple had the number of developers and user base they do today then I doubt they would've felt a need to give away any Macs when they took back their DTK. It's funny, that you didn't mention cost of the DTK being half that of the one for Intel in your comments of Cook being greedy and Jobs being an altruistic saint who had nary a care for money or profit.
    williamlondonjdb8167tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 58
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    narwhal said:
    The fact that Apple is returning nearly one half of the original fee is more than generous, i say. Again, how can someone complain about this? It's a gift.

    Just out of curiosity, are you a small developer who ported his apps to Apple Silicon using the DTK, and is now faced with going without an Apple Silicon machine for a month? I have to PACK UP my DTK, wait for apple to issue a coupon, then order an M1 Mac mini (wait time is 3 weeks now for 16 GB version). It would make a LITTLE more sense if we could replace the mini before sending it back; but going a month without an AS dev/test machine is CRAZY!
    That's another point regarding the Intel DTK, the free iMacs sent out were also delivered before the DTK had to go back. So devs could transfer data and not have downtime. Doesn't seem too well thought out this time around.
    You're really grasping at straws here.  Your theory is that these Mac OS developers don't have another Mac?  Their entire enterprise is based on a prototype that they got a few months ago?

    Also, if I give you a gift of a $1600 computer a decade ago, that doesn't mean giving you $200 today wouldn't be a "gift."  Except in today's entitled culture I suppose.  Get off my lawn.
    Another ASi Mac, probably not. They very well may have an Intel iMac for example, then got a dev kit to use for ASi, and now they have to buy another Mac to use just for ASi testing. 

    No, but it is called a comparison. It is a pretty measly "gift" compared to an iMac, which Apple said at the time was in appreciation of the work devs put in to recompile their apps. Yes, very "entitled" to expect the biggest company in the world to look a little more favourably on the devs who make their platform as diverse, the devs who ultimately help Apple vacuum up money. Unfortunately for you, this isn't your "lawn," it is a forum to discuss. You do not set the rules nor decide who can post nor what.
    Sorry that you didn't get my joke with the "get off my lawn" comment.  I was making fun of myself for criticizing today's youth.

    I'm not saying that Apple should be lauded for giving out $200.  But they also would have been fully within their rights to just mailed developers a postage paid box with instructions for returning them at the end of the agreed upon term.  Developers paid to get early access for a year to these devices.  Anything above and beyond that (in this case $200) is gravy.  No one ever said, "pay us $500 and you can be a Mac OS developer without ever buying a modern Mac.' I expect Apple's logic in giving out $200 was strictly to increase the odds that people would actually return them.  I expect a large percentage won't be returned, and I expect Apple is ok with that too.
    watto_cobradewme
  • Reply 17 of 58
    dm3dm3 Posts: 168member
    Worst experience as an apple developer yet. Program run very callously from the start. Not impressed. 
    williamlondonnarwhal
  • Reply 18 of 58
    Xed said:
    You could afford the $500 for the DTK but not the $600 for an M1 Mac mini?
    That's a good question. I *CAN* afford a $600 M1 Mac mini, but it's better as a test machine, not a dev machine. The higher-end 16GB M1 Mac mini would be better for a dev machine, but it's back-ordered 3 weeks. The way I see it, with Apple's plan, if I want to use Apple's $200 coupon, I'll be without an Apple Silicon machine for between a week and a month. And I *MIGHT* be forced to buy 2 Apple Silicon Macs this year -- the low end one for testing (because it's available now) and a higher end one later for dev.

    Ideally, Apple would send us DTK leasers a 16GB M1 Mac mini, then have us send the DTK back to them in the same box. I'd be willing to pay some dough for the price difference. But the current offer is a joke.
    williamlondoncloudguy
  • Reply 19 of 58
    Splitting the difference at $250 would at least create an appearance of fairness.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 58
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 210member
    macxpress said:
    Seems like they would have just done an even swap...so like the $699 M1 Mac mini and you return the developer Mac mini back to Apple. They could have even done something like hold the value of the M1 Mac mini on a credit card until the developer Mac mini was returned as a safety for Apple in case developers wanted to be sneaky and not ship back the developer Mac. 
    Yeah, that'd be Apple acting like Steve was still alive...

    I've been an Apple dev since 1980... though I now dev on Android more than iOS... frankly I have a choice of platforms and though still an Apple fan I feel like being an Apple dev is now more like being in Scientology.

    Once upon a time Apple used to support devs technically and with 50% HW discounts... now I know that level can't happen in today's world (even though they have far more cash now than then)... nor do they need to... but it's cheap insurance and keeps devs happy.

    And what Jobs understood is the need for the best developers create the best products... and guess what the best devs are entitled... they're rock stars (sans groupies)... in the long run if another platform entices them you'll start slipping long term.

    It would have cost Apple a comparative penny to do the swap and endear devs to continue to develop and promote the best apps on macOS (not to mention acknowledge what a buggy/wonky PITA the DTK was/is)
    williamlondonelijahgmuthuk_vanalingamnarwhalMplsPcloudguy
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