Apple Asks Developers to Return Mac Mini Dev Kits for $200 Credit

To prepare for the release of its M1 Macs, Apple provided developers with a Mac Mini Developer Transition Kit (DTK) for $500 in order to create universal apps ahead of the transition from Intel processors to Apple’s own silicon. Now, Apple is asking developers to return the DTK for a $200 USD credit towards an M1 Mac.

Apple’s Mac Mini DTKs were first distributed in June of 2020. Developers paid $500 for access to the DTK and it was reportedly agreed that developers would hold on to the device for a temporary period. The deal was made for the developer to not only create its universal app but be provided post-release support and have access to a private forum from Apple. The period of time was supposedly one full year. However, seven months in, Apple is now asking developers to return the DTK.

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman flagged the message that developers were receiving. On Twitter, Gurman posted a screenshot of the message Apple sent developers, offering a $200 credit towards an M1 Mac. The full message reads:

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.

Following the news that Apple would be seeking the return of its DTK, some developers took to Twitter to voice their opinion on the matter.

Apple had a similar program when the company transitioned from PowerPC to Intel processors in 2006. In 2005, developers were given similar DTK devices to make a smooth transition. Given that the cheapest M1 Mac is $899 CAD, developers will still need to invest quite a bit into a new device after receiving the $200 credit.

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