Saturday, Feb 06, 2021, 16:06 Mac: Hardware

Say Goodbye To The 1st ARM Mac: Apple Requests Return Of DTK

There was only about 5 months' worth of time between the announcement of the 1st in-house Apple processor and its entry into the market. However, in order to give developers the chance to prepare their apps for and test their apps on the new platform, Apple offered a "Developer Transition Kit". This time, it wasn't a Pentium 3 in the guise of a Power Mac, but an A12Z board in a silver Mac mini. The DTK gave a taste of what was to come with the "new" ARM macs, showing enormous performance – with barely any wasted heat. The ARM processor comes from the iPad Pro but is based on the chip from 2018.

Application, US$500, & Return
In order to receive the DTK, developers needed to apply with Apple online and pay the US$500 fee after acceptance of their application. The fee didn't entail any purchase, only the loan of the DTK. As announced, Apple is now contacting developers and requesting the returnal of all DTKs. Given that delivery times of the current M1-based Macs are now within reasonable limits (3 weeks), Apple no longer sees any reason to extend the length of the test-hardware loan. The e-mail to developers requesting the returnal of the DTK also contains instructions detailing how to do so.



Voucher For M1 Purchase
The US$500 that developers will have paid by the end of the testing phase won't be entirely lost. In the same e-mail, Apple also mentioned that developers will receive a compensatory store credit or US$200 upon purchase of any one of the new M1 Macs. This marks the end of history for the 1st ARM mac and although it was never available for purchase, many developers quickly grew fond of it. The base version of the current Mac mini costs only US$699. Thus, combined with the M1 Mac credit, developers will end up paying only slightly more for a new M1 Mac than for the DTK.

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