Apple Ups DTK Mac Mini Return Credit to $500 After Developer Complaints

Prior to the release of the M1 Macs, Apple offered developers a $500 Developer Transition Kit (DTK) that included a Mac mini equipped with an A12Z Bionic chip first used in the iPad Pro, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, and an HDMI 2.0 port.

mac mini developer transition kit photo feature
The DTKs were available on a temporary basis, and earlier this week, Apple said that it would soon begin asking developers to return the Mac minis in exchange for a $200 credit.

Since developers shelled out $500, many were unhappy with the credit amount, which also required the funds to be used by the end of May. Many developers complained about Apple's credit amount and the time limit on spending, as the end of May would not allow the credit to be used toward a product released later in 2021.

Apple has now reversed course and upped the credit, and will now be providing developers with $500 to put toward an ‌M1‌ Mac or any other Apple product. The time limit to spend the credit has also been increased, with Apple giving developers until the end of the year to use it.

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.

Apple first sent out Developer Transition Kits at the end of June, so developers were able to use them for seven months. Developers were meant to have a year with the DTK for app development purposes, but other benefits that include a private discussion forum and technical support will continue to be available for the full 12 month period.

As noted in Apple's emails to developers, the $500 credit can be used toward any Apple product, including ‌M1‌ Macs or other devices.

Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving Avatar
9 months ago
Developers have spoken. Apple has listened. Good Move Apple.
Score: 108 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ian87w Avatar
9 months ago
Wow, good for Apple. Extending the time limit is also a very nice gesture.
It brings good vibes whenever a company responded this quickly and positively.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
9 months ago
Thank god. Apple needs the developers more than the developers need Apple. It was wrong that Apple was going to make a net profit off of their contributions to their new platform.

Developers already pay $99-299 per year depending on which plan they choose, Apple should’ve just loaned them at no cost and asked for them back.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tubedogg Avatar
9 months ago

To get "stiffed" would have been to be promised a refund (or credit) that was never given. The program terms never stated that a credit would be given at all, so it was generous of Apple to add that in later. And developers complained? That I don't understand.
Developers complained because it was a tone-deaf token gesture after widespread problems with the DTK working (once it actually shipped; many developers didn't receive theirs until months into the program), lack of response to support queries, and the additional smack of the program abruptly ending several months early.

And for the richest company in the world, $200 times *at most* several thousand developers is literally a rounding error.

All of this comes on top of the craptacular year they just finished in developer relations, even setting the DTK aside.

No, they didn't owe developers anything, except to do what they originally promised in return for the $500. The $500 credit doesn't fix the past but it's at least not an utter slap in the face.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
9 months ago
Good on Apple. I'm not sure Apple owed anyone anything but $200 was just bad optics.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macintoshmac Avatar
9 months ago
Yes, their proclivity to annoy their developers is really a subject of study. Nice to read that good sense prevailed. The developers benefit from Apple, but Apple benefits far more than developers do, because without developers building for macOS and iOS, they are not going to go far. Apple's penchant for annoying their developer community time and again where developers have to fight for what is right is really concerning.

That said, Apple did not make developers buy this kit. Developers who wanted to buy it bought for themselves. Apple did not have to offer anything in return if the kit was developers' to keep. But since Apple wanted it back, a full refund becomes fair.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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