PSA for Developers: Mac Mini With A12Z Chip Cannot Be Repaired at Genius Bar or Service Provider

Apple this week announced that it will be switching to its own custom-designed processors for Macs starting later this year. As part of this transition, the company is allowing developers to apply for a modified Mac mini with an A12Z chip and 16GB of RAM to develop and test their apps on a Mac with Arm-based architecture.

a12z mac mini developer transition kit
While not too surprising, developers should be aware that this "Developer Transition Kit" is not eligible for repair at a Genius Bar or Apple Authorized Service Provider, according to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors. Instead, developers should contact Apple support, and the company will ship a replacement Mac mini if necessary.

Apple has many other strict rules in place for the A12Z-based Mac mini. For instance, developers are forbidden from disassembling the machine, running any benchmark tests on it, sharing it with others, or discussing it on social media.

Developers who are interested can apply for Apple's Universal App Quick Start Program at a cost of $500, and the Mac mini must be returned at the end.

Related Roundup: Mac mini
Buyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Neutral)
Related Forum: Mac mini

Top Rated Comments

WildSky Avatar
14 months ago
And what if your app is a benchmark tester? ?
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ScottishDuck Avatar
14 months ago
The intel developer kits during the PPC to Intel transition ran pentium 4s back in the day, which never featured in a final product. These are literally only to provide native architecture and nothing else. The silicon in the final products will be different & make full use of the massively larger thermal threshold available to them.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ouimetnick Avatar
14 months ago
I’m sure benchmarks will leak out anyways. Hopefully someone takes one apart and shows us what is inside. I would imagine that this A12Z has a heat sink and fan for better performance.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
14 months ago
damn. i just spilled a mojito on mine. (Dear apple: this is a discussion of a mojito, not of your machine)
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
14 months ago

Yes, I know because the article plainly states it. I was of course kidding.
Why would you be making baby goats?

- Mr. Literal :-)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
14 months ago
I don't really understand the fascination with benchmarks. It will run the same speed that iPad pros run for short benchmarks, and faster for long benchmarks only because of better cooling. But it's the same chip that we already have, so who cares?


Do you get the $500 back when you return, or you just give them $500 to loan a machine so you can learn to develop code on Apple Silicone?
You do not get the money back. Though during the ppc->intel transition they gave you a replacement machine (or sold you one cheap - been so long that i don't remember the details). Doesn't mean they'll do so this time, of course.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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