Apple is doing the right thing by developers with its Developer Transition Kit credit increase
It seems that Apple has listened to developers regarding the return of its Developer Transition Kits (DTKs), of sorts. Last week, it emerged that Apple would give developers a US$200 credit towards an M1 Mac for returning its ARM DTKs, DTKs that the company charged US$500 to rent for up to a year. Unsurprisingly, many developers were unhappy at Apple's credit, which effectively left them US$300 short and with a coupon that developers could only spend on hardware that cost a minimum of US$699.
Apple has now increased this credit amount to US$500 though, which is a sizeable uplift from US$200. Additionally, the new coupon can be redeemed against any Apple product, not just M1-based Macs and is redeemable until the end of 2021. Hence, developers could use the coupon against a new iPhone, or a future Mac with a more powerful ARM-based chipset.
In our opinion, it is good to see Apple listen to developers and compensate them accordingly for their early adoption of its ARM platform. The credit still falls way short of the iMac that Apple gave to developers during the PowerPC to Intel transition, but at least the coupon matches the US$500 that developers spent on a DTK. The new coupon's increased flexibility does not tie developers to purchasing one of three devices too, which is good to see.
You can read the full statement from Apple, reproduced by MacRumors, below:
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.