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Report waves caution at shadiness of would-be Mac clone maker

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 
A brief investigation into Psystar Corporation reveals the self-proclaimed Mac cloner maker to have no operating history prior to this week, and further suggests the company may be little more than one-man basement operation.

Given the company's claims of a $400 Mac system and a vow to battle Apple over its Mac OS X licensing terms, the Guardian's Charles Arthur decided to do some digging on the integrity of the much talked about Miami-based solutions reseller.

The results? Not promising. Although the Psystar.com website was registered back in 2000, Google and other search engines turn up absolutely no references to the company prior to this week's news that it would offer an unauthorized Mac system.

"I called the Miami Chamber of Commerces and its Better Business Bureau," Arthur wrote. "They've never heard of it."

What's more, Psystar appears to have hastily relocated on Tuesday to an industrial park within Miami's north-west side, according to an address change posted to its website. On Monday, the company's address was listed as 10645 SW 112 Street -- a three bedroom home built in 1957 along a row of suburban houses (below).

As part of his investigation, Arthur also put in calls to phone numbers listed on Psystar's website. After a dead end at "Human Resources," he was able to get an unnamed individual on the phone by selecting the option for "Customer Support."

That individual, however, referred all of the reporter's questions to Psystar's press email, from which replies have not been forthcoming. When asked if there were many individuals like himself working in the company's support division, the individual then claimed that he was not a support representative and was instead "just answering the phones."

An address listed on Psystar's website Monday points to this suburban Miami home.

"But you know what's most interesting?," Arthur added. "Apple's complete silence on this. It hasn't said a word. I suspect that it's waiting to see if anything emerges from this."

Update: The most recent industrial park address for Psystar belongs to a packing supply firm called USA KOEN PACK whose manager has never heard of Psystar.

A new address listed on Psystar's website Tuesday points to this shipping company.

Update 2: AppleInsider reader Shane writes in to let us know that quick glance of the source code for Psystar.com reveals the company's webpages was slapped together with help from this web template.
post #2 of 108
"One-man basement operation"?

What a shame...

There should be at least two men and some garage involved if they plan to rival Apple Inc. in the future...
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post #3 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zlyden View Post

"One-man basement operation"?

What a shame...

There should be at least two men and some garage involved when if they plan to rival Apple Inc. in the future...

well said, you beat me right to the punch...

I feel like saying, "what???? nerds building computers from their house to sell on the internet? thats utterly absurd! name one company, one company that started that way! -except for all of them... before they became incorporated and infested with the aristocratical shareholders like a virus"


it's almost preposterous I know, but there was a time before the old neonazis had so successfully crossed over wallstreet...


I remember when the google kids tried to rent out my grandfathers office and he said no because he thought it sounded silly...

now they have a masonic temple of their own...

all I'm saying is buy a computer from this guy first instead of stocking his house and putting your findings up on this site like it was anonym0us or something...
post #4 of 108
"and further suggests the company may be little more than one-man basement operation."

let's stick with the Garage.....there are NO basements in Miami!!
post #5 of 108
Busted!!
post #6 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by xirtus View Post

all I'm saying is buy a computer from this guy first instead of stocking his house and putting your findings up on this site like it was anonym0us or something...

1) Would you be willing to give this 'company' your credit card information to buy one?

2) You don't think this is relevant information considering the website for the company has multiple products on it?

3)You don't really think that they released ALL of their products at the same time do you?
post #7 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

1) Would you be willing to give this 'company' your credit card information to buy one?

2) You don't think this is relevant information considering the website for the company has multiple products on it?

3)You don't really think that they released ALL of their products at the same time do you?

you are taking "corporation" too seriously.

if this really is a one man operation, than yes, you would release your full game at once, instead of half assing it along until someday it might happen, you take a shot... now theres plenty of scams out that actually work, why waste time with shit like this?

(a) apple will definitely enter a legal battle which would cost at least as much as anything they make, even if they won.

(b) credit card companies tend to reinburse for over over $1000 fraudulent charges and internet scams. not all of them but mine does. If I call visa they pause the money and they know exactly where it is and who has it in what account...

You should be on game don't misunderstand me, but be reasonable, stocking this guy and showing his house is a threat...


though I guess in the orwellian age of murdochspace maybe not...
post #8 of 108
@xirtus

". . . stocking his house . . ." Why would we all want to put products in his house? Oh, do you mean "stalking" his house? Oh, that's much different. Say, why don't YOU give him YOUR credit card and be the first among millions to fund the next Apple? (You know, the company that grew up BEFORE the neonazis came to wallstreet.) If that sounds like a good idea, I've got some correspondence from Kenya you'll REALLY be interested in! (Barnum was right: There's a sucker born every minute.)
post #9 of 108
Even OSx86 is against Psystar. I didn't see that one coming.
OSx86 Project not too happy with Psystar either
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post #10 of 108
So it doesn't have a "true business status" but even Apple Computer Inc. started in a garage. Who knows, maybe this guy has been selling his services to set up company networks, etc, for the past few months. His website is very thorough.

"Psystar" is obviously not what it seems, but the question is, will that severely alter the situation? The controversial nature of Apple's EULA is out in the open... The cries for a modestly-priced mid-tower from Apple have been sung.

-Clive
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post #11 of 108
*tries really hard to look surprised*


Oh and xirtus? it's Stalking, not Sto....


Nevermind... Vinita beat me to it.
post #12 of 108
wow, I'm getted m4ch8tted by fanboys...


okay how about a compromise: how about building you're own computer and running the x86 project yourself instead of paying someone else to do something you should be able to figure out on google by yourself...

not to mention you could just get a ubuntu machine a lot of places and run the x86, I've seen a list of plenty of stock computers that come with ubuntu and could run x86... this guy/apple would charge you for their software (not necessarily a bad thing, just pointing it out... the problem isn't the hardware, its that he sells it preinstalled.
post #13 of 108
That their basement-living son is playing with fire?
post #14 of 108
Maybe I am way off, but Apple's silence is interesting here. I promise I am not on meds. I promise I do not see a shrink (though might think I should) but could this be some sort conspiracy involving a situation where Apple might be sending out feelers to see where interest is in the public for a Mac OS X version for all computer makers, and not simply their own? I mean Vista is ripe for the picking and the Apple and Mac brand has never been more popular. iPhone is getting people familiar with OS X as is iPod Touch and iTunes. Wouldn't Mac OS X for all be a huge money making venture for the company? I am not in favor of Apple doing taking Mac OS X mainstream for all, but who knows? Ok I am going to slap myself around now for even suggesting all of this. Have a good weekend all!
post #15 of 108
If it smells like a scam then it is a scam. The guy obviously thought he saw a grey area in Apple's EULA and decided to have a go at exposing it. End of story.
"Who are you going to believe, me or your eyes?"
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post #16 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by xirtus View Post

wow, I'm getted m4ch8tted by fanboys...


okay how about a compromise: how about building you're own computer and running the x86 project yourself instead of paying someone else to do something you should be able to figure out on google by yourself...

not to mention you could just get a ubuntu machine a lot of places and run the x86, I've seen a list of plenty of stock computers that come with ubuntu and could run x86... this guy/apple would charge you for their software (not necessarily a bad thing, just pointing it out... the problem isn't the hardware, its that he sells it preinstalled.

First, it's fanGIRL.

Secondly, I was only bashing your inability to use the correct words, for what you were trying to say.

Thirdly, OS X is Apple's intellectual property. If I found someone using my design work without my permission, I'd be a LOT less civil (and quiet) as Apple's been.
post #17 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

The cries for a modestly-priced mid-tower from Apple have been sung.

In fact - yes!

If this all will end up with Apple understanding that its current models lineup just asks for individuals (or companies incorparated of single individual) installing hacked Mac OS X on $500 desktop Core 2 Duo for themselves, friends and "customers" -- to get a system faster and better than thier minis and iMacs. And if Apple will do something about it, except taking the matter to the court. Well, I would just give this guy perhaps not $300 but $100 at least just for his troubles -- he will suffer for our salvation...

(pardon my english)
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post #18 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by portagekix View Post

Maybe I am way off, but Apple's silence is interesting here. I promise I am not on meds. I promise I do not see a shrink (though might think I should) but could this be some sort conspiracy involving a situation where Apple might be sending out feelers to see where interest is in the public for a Mac OS X version for all computer makers, and not simply their own? I mean Vista is ripe for the picking and the Apple and Mac brand has never been more popular. iPhone is getting people familiar with OS X as is iPod Touch and iTunes. Wouldn't Mac OS X for all be a huge money making venture for the company? I am not in favor of Apple doing taking Mac OS X mainstream for all, but who knows? Ok I am going to slap myself around now for even suggesting all of this. Have a good weekend all!

well who likes tangants?

apple isn't nearly as dead as windows, but windows isn't even an operating system (in the sense that it's neither a system, nor does it operate. no offense fanboys...)

I love apple as much as the next mac fanatic, but apple is sabatoging themselves like the rest of corporate america.

theres no way the iphone is coming to china, because its' a piece of crap and they look at it and say, "fuckin mao, we can make that ourselves better with linux..."

and guess what they do... and it's not all sheisty ll and locked and useless. granted linux is still about 3-5 years away but so is china's technological superiority...

I'm only saying that china has no reason to respect our copyright laws, because american copyright laws are for chumps... (chinese aren't chumps...)

and all the laws do is try to stop people like psystar in america from doing something inevitable...

Ie using your chump ass intellectual property...

which I think is ridiculous, but hey go ahead and try to horde your achievements.

I mean sure I personally consider it an affront to humanity, but that doesn't really matter, the point is you cannot contain knowledge, it's like trying to hold back the sea with a broom...
post #19 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

So it doesn't have a "true business status" but even Apple Computer Inc. started in a garage. Who knows, maybe this guy has been selling his services to set up company networks, etc, for the past few months. His website is very thorough.

"Psystar" is obviously not what it seems, but the question is, will that severely alter the situation? The controversial nature of Apple's EULA is out in the open... The cries for a modestly-priced mid-tower from Apple have been sung.

-Clive

If he can stay in business for more than a year or two, he'll be something worth watching. Right off the bat, this guy has no product, just a lot of hype and a bunch of breathless web sites hoping he can pull it off. This story is going nowhere.

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post #20 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc OSX View Post

If it smells like a scam then it is a scam. The guy obviously thought he saw a grey area in Apple's EULA and decided to have a go at exposing it. End of story.

The only thing missing now is jail to these wannabe hacking hobbyists...really easy investment to take a PC, clone an EFI bootloader and illegally announce that your machine can run OS X...as for other unauthorized cloners, this is gonna hit the wall and turn into dust, nothing else.

GO APPLE!
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post #21 of 108
I'm going to say this again because it didn't seem really acknowledged,
I'd be happy for some comments on this subject. I gave possible reasons why this might not be a scam, mainly that scams tend to look for less trouble. this guy is supposedly battling apple... credit cart companies and apple would be exhaustive to his resources financially.

and again apple will definitely enter a legal battle which would cost at least as much as anything they make, even if they won.

plus credit card companies tend to reinburse for over over $1000 fraudulent charges and internet scams. not all of them but mine does. If I call visa they pause the money and they know exactly where it is and who has it in what account...


not that you should risk it, but shit like that, some guy hears your claim, goes to the site sees it and goes, oh yeah, thats a scam and they get all hyphy with psystar and lock his accounts...
post #22 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by portagekix View Post

Maybe I am way off, but Apple's silence is interesting here. I promise I am not on meds. I promise I do not see a shrink (though might think I should) but could this be some sort conspiracy involving a situation where Apple might be sending out feelers to see where interest is in the public for a Mac OS X version for all computer makers, and not simply their own? I mean Vista is ripe for the picking and the Apple and Mac brand has never been more popular. iPhone is getting people familiar with OS X as is iPod Touch and iTunes. Wouldn't Mac OS X for all be a huge money making venture for the company? I am not in favor of Apple doing taking Mac OS X mainstream for all, but who knows? Ok I am going to slap myself around now for even suggesting all of this. Have a good weekend all!

Apple's silence is because I'm sure they new this was a joke endeavour from the beginning.
Only rabid Apple haters have been getting almost sexually excited about this story.
"aristocratical shareholders like a virus"... "old neonazis" ?
It must be a sad life to be so consumed with sophomoric hatred.
post #23 of 108
Looks like the website was acquired here as a template

http://cabikhosting.com/blog/downloa...en/details.htm

post #24 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zlyden View Post

"One-man basement operation"?

What a shame...

There should be at least two men and some garage involved if they plan to rival Apple Inc. in the future...

Also, don't you need at least two men to form a corporation in Florida?

You do in Virginia. That is why I am a Sole Proprietorship, operating a SOHO who has a Merchant Account to accept Credit Card charges. I let others that have brick and mortar operations produce and ship the products I sell to customers or have them ship to me and I'll deliver in person if it's local.

Don't be so skeptical of Entreprenurs, as was stated in earlier posts, Apple was a two man operation in a garage and look at them now. Lots of businesses start that way.

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post #25 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Don't be so skeptical of Entreprenurs, as was stated in earlier posts, Apple was a two man operation in a garage and look at them now. Lots of businesses start that way.

Apple didn't grab someone elses operating system and put it into someone elses hardware and try to flog it on a cheap template website whilst trying to trade off the name of the successful company they got the software from.
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post #26 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

So it doesn't have a "true business status" but even Apple Computer Inc. started in a garage. Who knows, maybe this guy has been selling his services to set up company networks, etc, for the past few months. His website is very thorough.

"Psystar" is obviously not what it seems, but the question is, will that severely alter the situation? The controversial nature of Apple's EULA is out in the open... The cries for a modestly-priced mid-tower from Apple have been sung.

-Clive

Agreed. It is unfair to label the company as not legit because of its address. A few well known operations famously started in shady garages or basements or back rooms. I find it a little disingenuous of AI to post map detail as proof that Psystar is not somehow legit. On the other hand Psystar may not mind that at all, but I am not sure.

I can't imagine the guy will win. A real David and Goliath scenario.I mean, even if he wins he'll loose. A couple of broken legs will put him out of action. Oh wait, Apple doesn't use strong arm tactics like that, but I am sure they can think of something, what with all that creative talent around. I kind of root for him to be honest. I am a sucker for underdogs. Which is why I hang out at this forum
post #27 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkmanva View Post

Looks like the website was acquired here as a template

http://cabikhosting.com/blog/downloa...en/details.htm


Sham. Scam. Slam.

If there's anything real about this company, it's that it dreamed up a
media storm that will end up drawing attention to the company. If they
sell a few more custom systems (with no OS on them) or consulting
services, it was worth the storm, and technically they never shipped
OSX on anything, and never broke any EULA.

Tempest in a teacup.

Move along. Nothing to see here.
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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post #28 of 108
The Guardian does not appear to know how a business is registered in the US. It isn't done through the Chamber of Commerce or the BBB.

Psystar is registered and in good standing.

It can be checked online at

http://www.sunbiz.org/corinam.html
post #29 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc OSX View Post

Apple didn't grab someone elses operating system and put it into someone elses hardware and try to flog it on a cheap template website whilst trying to trade off the name of the successful company they got the software from.

That is NOT my point! Be it one person or two, their efforts can be legit. Do not compare to Pystar.

I'm just saying, you don't have to be a Fortune 500 Company, making billions in profit, with a workforce of 10,000. That's all I'm saying.

And no Apple didn't grab someone elses...

"Xerox has been heavily criticized (particularly by business historians) for failing to properly commercialize and profitably exploit PARC's innovations. A favorite example is the GUI, initially developed at PARC for the Alto and then commercialized as the Xerox Star by the Xerox Systems Development Department. Although very significant in terms of its influence on future system design, it is deemed a failure because it only sold approximately 25,000 units. A small group from PARC led by David Liddle and Charles Irby formed Metaphor Computer Systems. They extended the Star desktop concept into an animated graphic and communicating office automation model and sold the company to IBM.

The first successful commercial GUI product was the Apple Macintosh, which was heavily inspired by PARC's work; Xerox was given Apple stock in exchange for engineer visits and an understanding that Apple would create a GUI product. Much later, in the midst of the Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit in which Apple accused Microsoft of violating its copyright by appropriating the use of the "look and feel" of the Macintosh GUI, Xerox also sued Apple on the same grounds[citation needed]. The lawsuit was dismissed because Xerox had waited too long to file suit, and the statute of limitations had expired. However, some dispute the degree to which the Apple interface was derived from Xerox designs[1]. Indeed, prior to Apple's visits to PARC, its Macintosh project more closely resembled the Valdocs operating system of the Epson QX-10."

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post #30 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by xirtus View Post

plus credit card companies tend to reinburse for over over $1000 fraudulent charges and internet scams. not all of them but mine does. If I call visa they pause the money and they know exactly where it is and who has it in what account...

I do not know well legal/police/banking system of United States, but as "one-man shareware operation" (with Kagi as a money processor) I sometimes see fraudulent orders: the money arrived from credit card account of would be customer, then in three weeks (or one month) chargeback is performed by his bank.

So, if the guy (we don't even know his name), plans to take some orders for about two weeks, then cash all funds and disappear (with his great web-site) before anyone started to complain a lot... well, with AppleInsder, Guardian and others as free advertisers, he really can make some money even without owning a garage or a house in Miami
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post #31 of 108
Is It the First of APRIL ?
post #32 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by skottichan View Post

First, it's fanGIRL.

Secondly, I was only bashing your inability to use the correct words, for what you were trying to say.

Thirdly, OS X is Apple's intellectual property. If I found someone using my design work without my permission, I'd be a LOT less civil (and quiet) as Apple's been.

Actually, only the GUI and certain other elements are Apple's IP in OS X. Most of the code is Free/Open/NetBSD which is open source software - free for anyone to use.
post #33 of 108
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post #34 of 108
While I would never buy anything from this company, some of the things written in the article aren't necessarily indicative of bad things.

Quote:
"I called the Miami Chamber of Commerces and its Better Business Bureau," Arthur wrote. "They've never heard of it."

This means nothing. The Chamber would only know about businesses that are members of the Chamber. How many is that? Probably way less than 1% of the businesses in any city belong to the Chamber of Commerce.

Ditto for the Better Business Bureau. People have this notion that it's some kind of quasi-government watchdog that knows good businesses from bad. It doesn't. It only knows the businesses that have signed up and paid a fee to be a member of the BBB. It has no power, authority, or ability to track any other business. Again, probably less than 1% of businesses belong to the BBB.

Quote:
What's more, Psystar appears to have hastily relocated on Tuesday to an industrial park within Miami's north-west side, according to an address change posted to its website. On Monday, the company's address was listed as 10645 SW 112 Street -- a three bedroom home built in 1957 along a row of suburban houses (below).

I find the relocation more disturbing than someone working out of their home. Home-based businesses are perfectly legitimate. I can't speak for Miami, but many large cities issue business licenses for home-based businesses. The I.R.S. has recognized them for years.

More importantly, if we condemned every computer hobbiest working out of their garage, then we would never have had an Apple I, or an Apple II, and thus no Mac.

Remember where Steve Jobs, the founders of HP, and pretty much every other aspiring tech company got its start -- in a garage.
post #35 of 108
As if this wasn't enough, now Steve Woz is throwing his monkey into this 3-ring circus.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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GOA

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post #36 of 108
Relocation would simply indicate that they have orders and the garage is too small to process it all. That is what happens when success hits a small home-based business.
post #37 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaperducer View Post

I find the relocation more disturbing than someone working out of their home. Home-based businesses are perfectly legitimate. I can't speak for Miami, but many large cities issue business licenses for home-based businesses. The I.R.S. has recognized them for years.

What's so wrong with moving? I started in my home and then moved to a commercial space. If I had been in the middle of promotional stunt at the time, so what?

Somebody should ask the guy and see what he says. That would be far more interesting. The guy isn't publicity shy so I'm sure he'd speak up.
post #38 of 108
It's called entrepreneurial spirit. So what if the guy found a way to make Mac clones. Good for him! As long as he is honest, doesn't misrepresent his products or services and delivers everything he sells, he'll have a legitimate business. Good luck to him!

As for Apple not getting publicly involved, well, why should they give him a leg up but giving him free advertising?
post #39 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Agreed. It is unfair to label the company as not legit because of its address. A few well known operations famously started in shady garages or basements or back rooms. I find it a little disingenuous of AI to post map detail as proof that Psystar is not somehow legit. On the other hand Psystar may not mind that at all, but I am not sure.

It's address is a house, and then they changed the website to list an industrial park where the companies there have never heard of them. You call them and get some guy taking messages, their tech support dept is literally non-existent. On top of that

Seriously, would anyone have any confidence that they'd get the machine they ordered, much less that it would work at all? I think it's perfectly valid to dismiss a computer "company" that is just a guy in his basement. And it's a GOOD thing for AI to post this info so people know the real situation, up until now the press has been assuming that this is legit and that looks increasingly unlikely.

The company may or may not be a complete scam (or at least a publicity stunt, although I don't see what the upside to this would be), at this point my guess is it is someone who honestly thinks he can start a successful business but has no clue what he is getting into. I'll bet they never even ship ONE of these "open" computers. If they are legit, why doesn't the site mention ship dates at all? And has anyone actually tried to order one of these?

I can't believe that people still think this is legit after all that has come out about this company. Are people so hungry for a cheap mac that they're willing to suspend disbelief? If you're so excited, go ahead and buy one. The rest of us would love to hear about it.
post #40 of 108
According to the latest.... this might be a stunt from a t-shirt company, or even Steve Wozniak... wouldn't that be a hoot!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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