Apple announced its major plans to move from Intel to Apple silicon at its annual developers conference WWDC. The company has also begun offering the first developer transition kit (DTK) for $500 as a rental.
Apple will begin shipping the first ARM based Mac by the end of 2020. However, developers need to port their apps to the new Mac architecture and as a result, Apple is now letting select developers buy their developer transition kit (DTK).
The DTK is the first ARM based Mac to be released and it uses the Apple A12Z chip found in the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro has been lauded for its extreme performance while maintaining power efficiency. Apple in an promotional video of the iPad Pro said that the iPad Pro is faster than 95% of the computers in the world.
The DTK being provided to the developers as a rental is basically a Mac Mini with the new system-on-chip. The machine gets the A12Z chip with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. The DTK has two 5Gbps USB-A ports and two 10Gbps USB-C ports which do not support Thunderbolt 3.
At WWDC, Apple also released the developer version of macOS 11.0 Big Sur. The DTK will ship with the developer beta along with Xcode 12. The company has detailed its transition plan to developers and also released a lot of tools for them to port their applications to the new Mac architecture.
Apple has clearly mentioned that the DTK is only a rental and at the end of the transition, users will have to return it. The pricing of the developer kit is interesting – it’s much cheaper than the Mac Mini based model which costs $799 and offers far less powerful hardware. If Apple can emulate the same pricing with upcoming Mac hardware, it will be a huge win for Apple as well as consumers.