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Apple DTK uproar, and resolution...

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Apple DTK uproar, and resolution...
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Mr. Katan
Join Date: May 2004
2021-02-06, 10:33

I called the shit out of this one.

A few days ago, Apple notified developers they’d like to start getting those specialized Mac mini development machines back. Developers paid $500 for these machines (for a year, I believe) and Apple’s incentive a few days ago was $200 credit toward a new Mac, and that it had to be spent before the end of May.

Naturally, everyone proceeded to lose their minds, on both sides of the issue: “Apple owes me!” vs. “stop acting like an entitled twat”, and all points in between.

Well, Apple listened. As most companies do when people loudly, publicly fill their diapers on Twitter.

So now the developers get their full $500 back, in credit, and it can be used on any Mac, before the end of the year (for those who were worried that new M1 iMacs or redesigned 14” and 16” MacBook Pros wouldn’t be available by the end of May (that, I fully get...I wouldn’t want to “settle” for one of these initial, lower-powered models if I was eyeing something with a bit more pep that we all know is coming later this year). The May deadline should’ve never been a thing.

However, just know that, come December, there will be another brouhaha/Twitrum in the form of “I wanted to spend my $500 credit on the new M1 Mac Pro which never arrived in 2021!”

If Apple’s smart, they’ll just go ahead and say the $500 credit is good until three months after the day the last Mac transitions over to the M1 or whatever (pick a timeframe that makes legal, moral and business sense). That way everyone gets to put this free gift (because that’s what it is, since they were never promised anything in return initially) to use on whatever Mac they want, including whatever model(s) haven’t transitioned/updated by the end of 2021.

Would that make everyone happy? Or should Apple go ahead and get on the right side of things, PR-wise, and just give $1,000 credits to everyone (grade-schoolers, hobos, park rangers, Instagram influencers and their titties, etc.), able to be used until the end of time on anything (car washes, Whoppers, Six Flags admission, etc.).

“Yes!” someone, somewhere, is probably saying with a straight face...

I’ve got no monkey in this fight. I’m
not a developer. I know, from reading articles (and angry Tweets) that during previous transitions in the Steve era, Apple was quite generous to the developers (free iMac upon the return of their development tower). So, yeah...I get that.

Still, everyone who voluntarily - with no firearms of any sort pointed at their skull, I’m assuming - did so with nothing in the contract saying they’d be receiving any or all of their $500 investment back.

To be clear, I do think Apple’s initial approach (with the May deadline) was a bit shitheaded/petty, But I would’ve been thrilled to see almost half of my $500 outlay returned to me. $500 would’ve been unthinkable.

There’s a reason they’re sitting on eleventy trillion $$$, huh?

I see both sides here - Apple looks a bit chintzy and unappreciative of the work developers put in, especially compared to prior similar scenarios. But a lot of people entered into an arrangement they voluntarily signed up for and then squawked on the backend when something they were never promised failed to come their way. So a lot of them are also coming across as petty shitheads too.

Nobody’s looking like a saint in any of this.

But my point here is really not about all that as much as “wow, look how quickly a huge company responds, and reverses itself, when the heat of negative PR is applied”.

When the original $200/end of May story hit a few days ago, I emailed it to a few fellow Apple dork buddies and said “mark my words...within a month or so, Apple’s gonna bump the credit to the full $500 and do away with that May deadline...just watch!”

“Nah, they’re good. They’re already being generous...they’re not gonna up that and give away $500! They don’t have to.”, etc. is what I heard back from all three.

“You don’t understand...they’re getting hammered. I know how this stuff works, and how it’s gonna go. Trust me.”

The only thing I had wrong was just how quickly it happened...2-3 days vs. “a month or so”.

Anyone here participate in this program and looking at returning your custom Mac mini for the $500 credit? What are you looking to buy with it? One of the existing M1 models, or wait and see what hits later in the year (iMac, 14” MacBook Pro, etc.)? Bet you weren’t counting on an unexpected $500 to put toward it. That’s pretty cool. It was all a 1-for-1 wash. You basically got your full $500 “security deposit”/initial investment back to spend on whatever Mac you want by the end of 2021 (plus however long Apple extends that, because you know they will if some models are still Intel-based come December 31).

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2021-02-06 at 11:08.
The Ban Hammer
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
2021-02-06, 12:22

Apple: "Hey, here's a super awesome development machine for you whiney children to use so you cane get your crappy apps sorted out before we make this transition."

Developers: "WAAAAAAAAAAH! We want our monies back! WAAAAAAAAAAH!"

I guess I see it differently. What Apple should have done is just sell them the stupid thing and be done with it. And never, ever have the option for a return.

"You want in this game? It'll cost you $500!"

Hell, it's just a pre-production M1 Mac Mini that these people got at a solid discount before anyone else could get one.

Seriously, $500? Those big, pro-level code development apps of the 90's cost way more than that. (When I was dabbling, I think CodeWarrior was $399 for the cheapest version?)

If there is one injustice the App Store has foisted on people, it's cheap software. Now everyone—developers included—thinks everything should be $1 or "for freeeeeeee!" And the quality of apps is suffering because of it. It's mostly add-driven, location-tracking junkware. Oh, and thank the app gods that Apple is about to change that model with the next iOS update and the near-elimination of involuntary tracking. I'm going to be punching that button on every single app. Hopefully, developers will start making stuff that's actually worth the $10 for a $1 app than have it tracking me all over hall and back.

Make something compelling—that I actually need/could use—and I'll buy it. Not subscribe, but *buy*.

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Last edited by kscherer : 2021-02-06 at 12:42.
Mr. Katan
Join Date: May 2004
2021-02-06, 12:43

I thought they made it pretty clear those were temporary loaner machines from the start. Not sure what the $500 was for - the honor and privilege? - but nobody was screwed. They probably should’ve just considered that $500 the cost of the machine and none of this has to be a thing. Maybe they just didn’t want those odd, customized(?) Macs out in the wild forever.

Disappointed? Yes. But that’s it. It’s just a PR response (otherwise their first action, a few days ago. would’ve been the one they just announced).

Some complained, they don’t want the PR black eye, Understandable.

“Throw them their $500 back - we can swing it - so we can all move on with our lives and get back to what Twitter is actually meant for: screaming about white people wearing dreadlocks and how many dicks does it take for a young lady to acquire a rose?”
Sneaky Punk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2021-02-06, 14:03

Wow, this is just sad. Did the developers not realize this was in the agreement when they got the machines, or did nobody read the that part? Nobody put a gun to their heads and forced them to rent the machines. Seriously, how entitled to think they should get all the money back! The fact that Apple was going to give them $200 when the contract finished was generous enough. It's kind of obvious Apple would want them back, so they don't have to provide software support long term.
Mr. Katan
Join Date: May 2004
2021-02-06, 14:32

It’s an odd story all around.

Not coming down on developers at all, but I don’t see Apple’s “crime” here at all. I don’t know how dense those contracts were, but that’s not Apple’s problem either.

If I go into something like this, the contract is being read/understood before I sign my name. And if I think a $500 for temporary rental of a customized Mac to do some work on isn’t worth it (financially, time-wise, etc.), I just wouldn’t have done it.

But if I did do it and was offered anything in return, when it was never stated/guaranteed to begin with, I’d be pretty happy.

I’d take the $200, sure. The only thing I had a problem with was that May cutoff, pretty much limiting to you to the current lineup (unless an iMac or something comes in the next few months). But other than that, I kinda saw a lot of people mad that they got $200.

And now that they have $500 back (and all year to use it), I really don’t wanna hear any shit.

You won, guys. Now exhibit a bit of grace and gratitude and buy your new Mac when the time comes.

Apple could’ve done a couple of small things a bit differently/smoother, maybe. But I’m not seeing them in any villain role.
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2021-02-06, 14:41

Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
What Apple should have done is just sell them the stupid thing and be done with it. And never, ever have the option for a return.
I think Apple sees these as prototype machines and doesn't want them out in the wild for too long.

(Perhaps there are some trade secret details in them that a production Mac conceals.)

I don't think raising the return from $200 to $500 was necessary, but sure, why not.

Extending the deadline matters a lot more. They released the M1 Macs in November, with no indication on what would happen to the DTK. So many developers already bought an M1 Mac by now, and many others waited for a beefier one. So, with the May deadline, if you've already bought an M1 Mac, what are you supposed to do? Sell that, then buy it again with the credit? And if you haven't yet, you basically get a window of a few weeks (because they haven't actually given instructions yet on how to return the DTK) to return it and buy a new Mac that you hadn't actually planned on buying.

By extending the deadline, they change that calculus a lot. Odds are a beefier Mac will be out by December.
Mr. Katan
Join Date: May 2004
2021-02-06, 14:55

Exactly. The cut-off date, if they’re going to do this, matters more than the dollar amount, IMO.

I’d rather have $200 and all year to use it than $500 by the end of May (if no new M1 Macs got released this spring).

For them to now get both, they should be happy. I’d be thrilled.
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