For aspirants of iOS development, following is the basic requirements 

  • Apple Mac - Mac Mini, iMac,  Macbook Pro or Macbook Air

  • Apple Developer Account

  • Xcode 

  • iPhone, iPad devices - Optional but recommended for testing

Which Mac Machine do I choose? 

It all depends on the your convenience and budget. If you have a smaller budget, please go ahead and buy a mac mini(ideally the latest version). Also make sure your Mac OS is the latest as installing the latest Xcode generally will require to upgrade to latest OS.

If you want to have a portable one, I would suggest Mac book pro. Though its the costlier option, it can be used for development next 4 - 5 years provided you buy the latest version. I would not suggest Macbook Air for development. Eventhough, it may work well to get started, it may not be used for long term with larger projects. 

Apple Developer Account

First get a free Apple ID and you can sign up for an account here -> Apple account

Next you can optionally buy a individual developer account paying 99$. This is required only if you wish to submit apps to App store or if you want to have access to advanced developer features like iCloud, In App purchase, push notifications and so on.

Development Environment - Xcode

Xcode is primary IDE provided by apple that is used for developing native iOS apps and it is very powerful.

You can download the latest released Xcode(8.3.3) here -> Download

Devices for Testing

Though we can test most things in simulator, we cannot test device specific features like push notifications on simulator. You can opt for a cheaper iPhone like iPhone SE or an iPhone 6 at this point if you have limitation in budget. But that is not mandatory for getting started with iOS development.