Buying an Apple Silicon Machine

Will you be buying a Silicon Macbook?

Native Silicon is coming and as much as I’d love to just press a button and have my app work, I suspect I’ll need an actual machine for testing.

Apple is releasing Silicon MacBooks tomorrow (Tues)…

I need a new Macbook but honestly don’t want a Silicon one. For one, it’s first generation hardware and software which often comes with hiccups.

I need Windows access now and Parallels is not ready yet.

And frankly, I want Boot Camp because so many games are no longer available on Catalina/Big Sur.

Do I just buy the Mac Developer Transition Kit in addition to an Intel Macbook? Will the kit still be available when they are selling actual MacBooks?

Do I need to adapt my app now or can I wait a year with it emulating on Rosetta?

What are you guys doing?

  1. we already build those.
  2. I bought a MacBook Pro 16", so I may still use VMWare with Windows and Linux for the next 5 years or so.
  3. I got the transition kit. I hope I can later swap it for a regular Macbook.
  4. I would recommend you build soon your apps universal and test them on both variants. Should just work.
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You definitely will not be doing that. The kit is a rental which you have to return back to Apple. And given the machines are about to come then it probably makes no sense to try to get Dev kit this late in the game.

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So even if I choose to stay universal for some time, I’ll still need Silicon to test it?

You can decide to gamble and let the users test for you.


I suspect will we know much more after Tuesday’s event. Hopefully they will address more information on timing of needing to return a DTK. Or if a DTK may still be available to those of us who did not already get one, but also don’t want one of the new models which may ship this year. There is still too much unknown to make any intelligent decisions at this point.

I expect to eventually want either a low end SoC machine for testing, or a high-end SoC machine as new main development unit. But I don’t expect a new high-end machine Tuesday. And even there is, don’t necessarily want the first generation device. So am curious is the DTK will still be available for low-end test machines until they offer a nice high end SoC.

The good news is we’ll know much more in another day…

We will see tomorrow what will be released… I plan to buy the cheapest Silicon machine just for testing.

As I understand it, you get it for one year from purchase.

First I’ve heard that, but then I never applied for the DTK either. Last I knew, it was also unconfirmed if those who rented a DTK will get an discount on a released SoC machine or under what terms. I’m hoping they can address that Tuesday as well, though I have my doubts.

If you do get close to $500 USB off a future SoC and the DTK is still available after Tuesday, I will probably get one for testing then wait for what I consider a suitable SoC for my main development machine. But too many unknowns as of today.

Any historical precedent on the Intel DTK?

Yes - we were exchanged a new iMac for the returned Intel DTK.

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This is my 4th DTK and each time Apple has exchanged a newly released device for the return of the DTK. I don’t expect it to be any different this time around.

I believe that the program is now closed. You’ll need to wait for the real system availability.

And, I will share that my little DTK is quite a capable machine - both CPU-wise, and GPU-wise.

Depending on virtualization options under Apple Silicon, my plan is to get a well-equipped Intel Mac Mini to act as a VM server, and at some point an Apple Silicon MBP with as much ram as I can stuff into it. I have a DTK though, so I’m not in a rush.

As for your own apps, it’s hard to say, but you probably will be fine letting your app run under Rosetta for a while. All the apps I’ve tested don’t appear to have any hiccups running on Apple Silicon hardware. I’m not rushing to get mine running natively, though my next major version will be.

I guess I need to buy one. I already got a lot of request (and I mean A LOT) if my major app will be available for AS when the hardware is available on day one.

Because Xojo is not ready yet for compiling for AS, I may wait a little before buying an AS machine.

You are welcome to join the Testers group here in the forum to try it once Xojo Inc. provides a beta with Mac ARM support. You could email to ask for tester status and/or buy a Pro license.

You didn’t buy it, you gave Apple a security deposit. At the end of next year you send it back. They won’t be giving you a MacBook…

Last time we got it swapped for an iMac. Anyway I would not complain. Even a $500 rent is okay.


My mid-2014 MBP is still going strong, running Big Sur, and won’t be “replaced”. I even still have my 1st-gen MBP, which I can get out when I’m pining for Snow Leopard. And my iMac is just broken-in. Having said all that, there’s a chance I’m spending some money tomorrow :slight_smile:

If the DTK is any indicator, a lot of us will be joining you.

My 2018 MBP is still running perfectly, but I will need to test my apps on Apple Silicon as soon as possible.
I will definitely get the new Macbook air (or Pro) as soon as it is released.