Prior to Apple’s release of its first M1 Macs, Apple launched the Universal App Quick Start Program, which provided access to documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12, and the limited use of a Developer Transition Kit (DTK), a Mac development system based on Apple’s A12Z Bionic System on a Chip (SoC).
The Developer Transition Kit consisted of a Mac mini with Apple’s A12Z Bionic SoC inside and desktop specs, including 16GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and a variety of Mac I/O ports. The total cost of the program was $500.
The DTKs were only available on a temporary basis, and Apple told developers they would be required to return the DTKs to Apple once the program terminated.
Last week, Apple announced it would soon begin asking developers to return the Mac minis in exchange for a $200 credit. The announcement brought a wave of rancor from developers, who complained that Apple was not refunding the entire amount paid, and there was a time limit (May) on the ability to spend the refund.
Apple has now bowed to developer pressure, and will now offer a full $500 credit for developers to put toward an M1 Mac or any other Apple product. Apple developers will have until the end of the year to use the credit.
We heard your feedback regarding the 200 USD appreciation credit mentioned in our last email. Our intention was to recognize the tremendous effort that you have put into creating amazing universal apps. By partnering with us early, you showed your commitment to our platform and a willingness to be trailblazers.
So instead of the 200 USD credit that expires in May, we are giving you a 500 USD Apple credit and extending the time you can use it to get a new M1 Mac through the end of the year. If you already purchased a new M1 Mac, the Apple credit gives you the flexibility to purchase any Apple product to help with your app development work.
We’ll share details soon about how to ship the Developer Transition Kit (DTK) back to Apple. Note that the DTK will no longer receive publicly available software updates after macOS Big Sur 11.2. We encourage you to return it as soon as possible so that your development work is not interrupted. And once you return the DTK, you’ll receive your Apple credit.