Apple developers despair as DTK rebate offers vary worldwide

Apple Developer Transition Kit
Apple Developer Transition Kit (Image credit: Axel Roest)

What you need to know

  • Apple has confirmed that developers must return their Apple silicon DTK units by March 31.
  • It comes following a fiasco about the amount of credit offered to developers in return.
  • Some developers are now upset they aren't getting the full rebate amount they paid like developers in the U.S.

Apple has confirmed to developers they must return their Developer Transition Kit by March 31, 2021, but some developers still aren't happy about the rebate being offered by Apple.

The units were sold to developers to begin developing apps on Apple silicon last year. According to multiple reports, developers have been told in an email they must ship their DTK Macs back as the Universal App Quick Start Program comes to a close, from an email sent to developers:

Thanks again for participating in the Universal Quick Start Program and committing to building great apps for Mac. We're following up with shipping instructions to return the Developer Transition Kit (DTK) that was loaned to you as part of the program. Please take a moment to review these details and ship all DTKs back to us by March 31, 2021.

Apple also confirmed to developers the offer of $500 of in-store credit, which can be used against any purchase in the Apple Store. Initially, developers were offered a mere $200 to be used against the purchase of an M1 Mac. The move was met with fury by developers, as most had already either purchased one or decided they had no use for it. From that report:

The move comes following a fairly substantial outcry from developers on the program, who were initially only offered $200 credit that had to be used against the purchase of an M1 Mac. From the original offer:In appreciation of your participation in the program and to help with your continued development of Universal apps, you'll receive a one-time use code for 200 USD to use toward the purchase of a Mac with M1, upon confirmed return of the DTK. Until your program membership expires one year after your membership start date, you'll have continued access to other program benefits such as Technical Support incidents and private discussion forums.This offer rang hollow to many developers who had been using the DTK as a platform to develop Apple silicon apps prior to the release of the M1 Mac lineup. As Steve noted earlier this week, the announcement from Apple came three months after the release of M1 Macs, and four months "past the sharp rise in DTK reliability issues":

Developers outside the US, however, have noted that they are not getting a full rebate like their American counterparts are because the offer is fixed. One Aussie developer noted the purchase price in the country was $779, however, they are only receiving $646 as a rebate because it is a fixed amount of US$500:

One UK developer noted a similar disparity, with UK devs getting back just £365 despite having paid £480 for the unit.

Unfortunately, because of global exchange rates, it seems that whilst US developers are receiving the full $500 they paid as a rebate, many others are not.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9