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More unofficial Mac clones up for sale on eBay

post #1 of 330
Thread Starter 
A recent move by a little-known Florida-based solutions provider to openly challenge Apple on its Mac OS X licensing terms and begin selling an unauthorized Mac clone appears to have spawned a copycat.

A seller by the name of "chris555" is now offering on eBay a $549 "Non Apple Mac OS X" system that comes "pre-loaded with genuine Mac OS X 10.5." Two such systems are currently available for direct purchase, the seller says.

"Run the award winning Mac OS 10.5 on this custom-built desktop computer for hundreds less than a computer direct from Apple," reads a description of the product. "This desktop comes preloaded with Mac OS X Leopard with all the latest features. Finally, the power of Mac OS X at a fraction of the price."

Constructed in a generic beige and black enclosure, they system sports a 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Dual-core processor, 2GB DDR2 RAM, 250GB 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive, Intel Integrated 3D Graphics, DVD burner, Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet, and three USB 2.0 ports.

The offering is similar to one announced last month by Psystar Corporation, which also ships with Mac OS X Leopard and includes a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessor, 2GB of DDR2 667 RAM, an integrated Intel GMA 950 Graphics card, 20x DVD+/-R drive, 4 USB ports, and a 250GB 7200RPM drive.

Although the integrity of Psystar has come under considerable scrutiny, at least one customer claims the company has made good on its promise to fulfill orders for the $400 Mac clone.

Apple, which has historically been quick to thwart attempts on the part of grey marketers to distribute imitations products, has been uncharacteristically silent on the matter. This despite Psystar's open invitation to the Mac maker to formally charge it with a violation of the Mac OS X licensing terms in a court of law.

Those terms, Psystar argues, are in violation of antitrust laws -- an argument for which the clone maker may have a precedent working in its favor. According to TechNewsWorld, a 1984 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision held that a software publisher can't require consumers to run an operating system on a specific type of hardware.

The Supreme Court reportedly refused to review the case.



post #2 of 330
Does Apple's inaction signal they are more willing to consider licensing OSX to run on 3rd party hardware? Are they now willing to become the next Microsoft? We'll likely see in the next couple of weeks. I'd anticipate an OSX 'update' soon that could disable these rogue computers... maybe.

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post #3 of 330
Where's the Bluetooth and WiFi? I guess the Mini is a good deal after all
post #4 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Does Apple's inaction signal they are more willing to consider licensing OSX to run on 3rd party hardware? Are they now willing to become the next Microsoft? We'll likely see in the next couple of weeks. I'd anticipate an OSX 'update' soon that could disable these rogue computers... maybe.

naahh.. i say thay are waiting for psystar to actually sell them. Besides, Apple do not yet have any prove that psystar is actually putting Mac OS X on the computer. those pictures.. can be photoshoped.

and MONEY.. if they have money, then they will pursue.. if they dont.. what for... nothing good goes to Apple.. only wasting money.
post #5 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Does Apple's inaction signal they are more willing to consider licensing OSX to run on 3rd party hardware? Are they now willing to become the next Microsoft? We'll likely see in the next couple of weeks. I'd anticipate an OSX 'update' soon that could disable these rogue computers... maybe.

Couldn't Apple just set a high price for a New Install of OSX, like $400, to discourage these grey market challenges? Apple wouldn't be restricting the computers that use the os (gets around the legal issues) but it would make it difficult to undercut the prices so much...

As many have postulated before, they could call the OSX versions that they sell retail "upgrade" versions that are only legal for use with machines that already have the "New Install" version (which would come automatically with any Apple built machine).

I dunno, the fanboy in me wants to see these guys quashed but the rest of me roots for the underdog/maverick.
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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post #6 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Does Apple's inaction signal they are more willing to consider licensing OSX to run on 3rd party hardware? Are they now willing to become the next Microsoft? We'll likely see in the next couple of weeks. I'd anticipate an OSX 'update' soon that could disable these rogue computers... maybe.

Right now I don't know anyone knows what Apple is thinking. However, the complete lack of action is curious. Maybe the last couple of years have finally taught Steve Jobs to listen.
post #7 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Does Apple's inaction signal they are more willing to consider licensing OSX to run on 3rd party hardware? Are they now willing to become the next Microsoft? We'll likely see in the next couple of weeks. I'd anticipate an OSX 'update' soon that could disable these rogue computers... maybe.

Knowing Steve Jobs, i doubt he even consider the idea.. he likes his things the Apple way. Besides, thats what makes Apple.. Apple.

they will lose their loyal mac consumer if they do that
post #8 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post

naahh.. i say thay are waiting for psystar to actually sell them. Besides, Apple do not yet have any prove that psystar is actually putting Mac OS X on the computer. those pictures.. can be photoshoped.

and MONEY.. if they have money, then they will pursue.. if they dont.. what for... nothing good goes to Apple.. only wasting money.

There are Pystars out in the open that have actually been reviewed by credible outlets.
post #9 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Couldn't Apple just set a high price for a New Install of OSX, like $400, to discourage these grey market challenges? Apple wouldn't be restricting the computers that use the os (gets around the legal issues) but it would make it difficult to undercut the prices so much...

As many have postulated before, they could call the OSX versions that they sell retail "upgrade" versions that are only legal for use with machines that already have the "New Install" version (which would come automatically with any Apple built machine).

I dunno, the fanboy in me wants to see these guys quashed but the rest of me roots for the underdog/maverick.

nope, that will alienate their current consumer..
post #10 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

There are Pystars out in the open that have actually been reviewed by credible outlets.

do u have the link?? i want to see the review..
post #11 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post

nope, that will alienate their current consumer..

No, it wouldn't affect the current consumer. It would not affect anyone except the clone makers who would have to pay "full price" for a new install of the OS. Current customers would have "bought" that full install when they bought the computer. Even users who want to upgrade from 10.4 to 10.5 would not be affected, because they would be able to buy at "upgrade" prices...
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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post #12 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Couldn't Apple just set a high price for a New Install of OSX, like $400, to discourage these grey market challenges? Apple wouldn't be restricting the computers that use the os (gets around the legal issues) but it would make it difficult to undercut the prices so much...

Personally, there was a time that I would pay that. I think that's the price for retail Vista Superduper Ultimate. But the workstations in question have aged a bit since then and I'd rather just buy a refurbed Mac Pro, and if I need Windows, it would run.

I'd say maybe Apple's biding their time so there's enough money there to make it worth a lawsuit.
post #13 of 330
http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/psy...-32978558.html

6.9 rating from Cnet
6.4 rating from users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post

nope, that will alienate their current consumer..

Apple alienating their traditional customer base, the ones that stood by them during the hard times, is exactly why things like Pystar and OSX86 exist.
post #14 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Maybe the last couple of years have finally taught Steve Jobs to listen.



That was a joke, right? I think the last few years have taught Jobs that he is always right.* Look at Apple's sales and stock price...

.*..except on the AppleTV
...and the HiFi
...and single provider iPhone model
...and...
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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post #15 of 330
Good luck to the guy. Apple is as much about hardware as it is software. Steve Jobs won't be that bothered about that Ebay sale as long as the clones running OSX remain as unpleasing on the eye as this one is.

Personally i wouldn't buy any computer that looks like that regardless of what software it runs. For me it's as much about how the computer looks as it is to operate.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #16 of 330
"...the $400 Mac clone"

Correction, the $555 mac clone. For $400 you only get hardware but no OS.
post #17 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Right now I don't know anyone knows what Apple is thinking. However, the complete lack of action is curious. Maybe the last couple of years have finally taught Steve Jobs to listen.

Steve Jobs is, and has been for the past decade, the most effective and successful CEO in American enterprise. What the crap are you trying to say, Ben? In the past two years ("couple") AAPL has TRIPLED in value! (That's 300% if you're as math challenged as you are in the executive-evaluation arena.)

He moved the Mac from the loser IMB/Motorola platform to Intel, thereby giving millions of Windows hostages the ability to break free from their chains with a minimum of pain and angst. And that's only the tip of the revolutionary iceberg that is today's Apple, Inc.!

HE needs to be taught how to listen? Whoa. I'd believe that observation of Ballmer, Gates, and almost any politician . . . but when it comes to "educating," Steve Jobs, YOU are not the person to do so. Very, very few can fill that position.
post #18 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post



That was a joke, right? I think the last few years have taught Jobs that he is always right.* Look at Apple's sales and stock price...

.*..except on the AppleTV
...and the HiFi
...and single provider iPhone model
...and...

The Mac Mini. And the Spec downgrade on the 24" iMac, even though they did learn in the second revision. A little late for those of us stock with the less than spectacular first revision ALU machine though.
post #19 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'd anticipate an OSX 'update' soon that could disable these rogue computers... maybe.

There is no update to achieve this. Software Updater doesn't work for any system updates. The updates are taken by the hackers and rewritten to accommodate these clones and then the OS X builds are seeded.

I don't think Apple cares enough to soil their name with bad publicity by threatening litigation. These people selling pre-built machines are nothing compared to the size of the OSx86 community. The only people buying these pre-built machines are those not tech savvy enough to do it themselves and too cheap to by a real Mac, but are foolish enough to buy a pre-built one from some guy in his garage even though it comes with no updatable software or repair disc, all encompassing warranty or the stability and peace of mind that you'd find with even a Dell PC you bought at Best Buy.
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post #20 of 330
I have a different take on this. Apple doesn't have to do anything. This whole unauthorized clone thing will self-destruct all by itself. When real customers find out they have been taken for a ride, can't update or re-install their machines with out sending in their hard drive to Psystar, when new hardware doesn't work, when real customers need tech support and can't get it from either Apple or Psystar, the chickens will come home to roost rather abruptly. There will be a lot of unhappy owners followed by lawsuits, followed by bankruptcy. Problem solved.

And not many real customers will buy these things anyway. This is a geek squad, pocket protector, live in your parents basement market. This is all about these types bragging to their peers about how they have a non-Mac Mac, just like the original OSx86 project. Just look at the massive market share OSx86 has (roflmao)! Lump this together with the headless Mac mini-tower crowd and you might sell a few hundred.
post #21 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Does Apple's inaction signal they are more willing to consider licensing OSX to run on 3rd party hardware? Are they now willing to become the next Microsoft? We'll likely see in the next couple of weeks. I'd anticipate an OSX 'update' soon that could disable these rogue computers... maybe.

What is worst than a lawsuit is Apple releasing a critical software update to brick the computer! Then people will think twice before buying a clone. However, I am surprised that people still buy computers with no bluetooth, wifi, warranty, and software update for $100 cheaper than one with all of these essentials! Under Mac OS i doubt that the extra 1GB RAM and 0.4 GHz will make a noticeable difference for normal computer users (internet, word processors.. etc)
post #22 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

This is a geek squad, pocket protector, live in your parents basement market.

Most of these will do it on their own time and save the money on buying the freely downloaded OS. Only some weird subset of non-technical, esoteric geek would even consider the Psystar Hackintosh.
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post #23 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Does Apple's inaction signal they are more willing to consider licensing OSX to run on 3rd party hardware? Are they now willing to become the next Microsoft? We'll likely see in the next couple of weeks. I'd anticipate an OSX 'update' soon that could disable these rogue computers... maybe.

Well, you can't half file a lawsuit or CAD order, what do you want them to do? Consult you first? It can be certain they are not just sitting on their hands.

BTW, could that case be any UGLIER?!
post #24 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

Steve Jobs is, and has been for the past decade, the most effective and successful CEO in American enterprise. What the crap are you trying to say, Ben? In the past two years ("couple") AAPL has TRIPLED in value! (That's 300% if you're as math challenged as you are in the executive-evaluation arena.)

No, he's been the most effective for the last half decade. You people seem to forget the the hard times between the original iMac boom and when they introduced the iPod.

Quote:
He moved the Mac from the loser IMB/Motorola platform to Intel.

Because of necessity. It could have and should have been done after the G4. Instead they went with the G5 until and didn't abandon ship until the bow was under water. If IBM would have put any effort into enhanced version of the 970 series, we'd still be using PowerPCs. If the guy knows anything, its that there are a lot of people of this platform who will believe anything he says without question.
post #25 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

Steve Jobs is, and has been for the past decade, the most effective and successful CEO in American enterprise. What the crap are you trying to say, Ben? In the past two years ("couple") AAPL has TRIPLED in value! (That's 300% if you're as math challenged as you are in the executive-evaluation arena.)

He moved the Mac from the loser IMB/Motorola platform to Intel, thereby giving millions of Windows hostages the ability to break free from their chains with a minimum of pain and angst. And that's only the tip of the revolutionary iceberg that is today's Apple, Inc.!

HE needs to be taught how to listen? Whoa. I'd believe that observation of Ballmer, Gates, and almost any politician . . . but when it comes to "educating," Steve Jobs, YOU are not the person to do so. Very, very few can fill that position.

He doesn't listen to customers, he's admitted it publicly.

It's great that they have done so well making the products SJ wants to make. But that doesn't mean that they could learn something by listening to feedback from customers (and potential customers).
post #26 of 330
Quote:

What is interesting is that the mini outperforms the Aspire M5100 and Dell Inspiron 530 in many benchmarks and doesn't really trail the Psystar much at all except for Quake 4...which is no surprise given the 8600GTS.

Looking at the Mini's page it seems to do okay performance wise with the exception of graphics.
post #27 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

What is interesting is that the mini outperforms the Aspire M5100 and Dell Inspiron 530 in many benchmarks and doesn't really trail the Psystar much at all except for Quake 4...which is no surprise given the 8600GTS.

Looking at the Mini's page it seems to do okay performance wise with the exception of graphics.

The Mini's problem has never been the CPU. It's been hard drive size and accessibility of the memory,
post #28 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/psy...-32978558.html

6.9 rating from Cnet
6.4 rating from users.



Apple alienating their traditional customer base, the ones that stood by them during the hard times, is exactly why things like Pystar and OSX86 exist.

ok thanks for the link

i dont know about Apple alienating their customer base.. All i know is they are alienating people outside Apple.. not inside. i have been a pretty happy with Apple and their services. They keep my computer running like new. and their Apple care is great.

so, from personal experience, they are not alienating their customer base, which is the user such as myself.
post #29 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post

ok thanks for the link

i dont know about Apple alienating their customer base.. All i know is they are alienating people outside Apple.. not inside. i have been a pretty happy with Apple and their services. They keep my computer running like new. and their Apple care is great.

so, from personal experience, they are not alienating their customer base, which is the user such as myself.

Most of the people in the xMac/ Psystar threads, are not new customers. Its much easy to deal with the iMac when you buy for the cool factor instead of practicality.
post #30 of 330
In addition guys, you buy Apple not for just the computer, but for all their assistance in making their product more enjoyable to use, which why people have been calling Apple users a cult... which i totally disagree.. just because they take care of their customers, does not mean Apple users are a cult.

either way, when we come down to basics, psystar is a nice computer if you take out the controversy and the updates. it does what it supposed to do at a cheaper price.
post #31 of 330
I'm sure Apple legal is quite busy right now, for instance, gathering hard evidence of Psystar sales (not just distribution for review or photography) with Mac OS X installed, which will be used to assess monetary damages, and busy formulating their response. Assuming it pans out to reality, I believe this will be a copyright infringement case, where the copyright holder (Apple) has not authorized Psystar to copy the packaged software onto computer hard disks. As a copyright holder registered with the Library of Congress, Apple will be able to request 3X damages (3X the actual damages). Psystar will of course have a hefty legal bill to contend with, as well.
post #32 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post

just because they take care of their customers,

They used to atleast. My first decade on the Mac I called Apple care a waste of money.
post #33 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

They used to atleast. My first decade on the Mac I called Apple care a waste of money.

well... actually in my experience, it saves me a lot of money. I brought it back and it would have cost me close to $800 to replace the logicboard twice without apple care.

my complain is actually, why cant the macbook handle the heavy load of running mac osx and xp and the same time. that has been the source of my problems.
post #34 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post

well... actually in my experience, it saves me a lot of money. I brought it back and it would have cost me close to $800 to replace the logicboard twice without apple care.

my complain is actually, why cant the macbook handle the heavy load of running mac osx and xp and the same time. that has been the source of my problems.

although i would agree that some time it can be a waste.. All warranties are a waste of money if the product is working like it suppose to.
post #35 of 330
speaking of apple care,

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/22...s-tech-support

i just found this article
post #36 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post

my complaint is actually, why cant the macbook handle the heavy load of running mac osx and xp and the same time. that has been the source of my problems.

It can. How much RAM do you have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ros3ntan View Post

All warranties are a waste of money if the product is working.

I don't agree with that POV. You have warranties to offer peace of mind in case something does go wrong, but it's better not be bothered with the downtime.
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post #37 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

Where's the Bluetooth and WiFi? I guess the Mini is a good deal after all

Or Firewire.

Also, these models will have problems with Software Update, among others.
post #38 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Because of necessity. It could have and should have been done after the G4. Instead they went with the G5 until and didn't abandon ship until the bow was under water. If IBM would have put any effort into enhanced version of the 970 series, we'd still be using PowerPCs. If the guy knows anything, its that there are a lot of people of this platform who will believe anything he says without question.

I really don't fault IBM much, it's not as if they were able to find enough buyers for the various G5 chips when they were good chips to justify continued development.
post #39 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It can. How much RAM do you have?




I don't agree with that POV. You have warranties to offer peace of mind in case something does go wrong, but it's better not be bothered with the downtime.

I have 2 GB of ram. Its working.. its just that it shortens the life of the logic board...

yeah.. but warranties is an indication that we would expect the product to break down... which means the quality is not good.

Although i appreciate Apple care, a good product is not supposed to break down (and the funny part is we expect it by purchasing apple care). if we dont expect it, why would we buy it.
post #40 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Couldn't Apple just set a high price for a New Install of OSX, like $400, to discourage these grey market challenges? Apple wouldn't be restricting the computers that use the os (gets around the legal issues) but it would make it difficult to undercut the prices so much...

As many have postulated before, they could call the OSX versions that they sell retail "upgrade" versions that are only legal for use with machines that already have the "New Install" version (which would come automatically with any Apple built machine).

I dunno, the fanboy in me wants to see these guys quashed but the rest of me roots for the underdog/maverick.

They could, but they would have to do something that would only allow them to get installed on a genuine Mac.

And then we would have the hackers in another fight, breaking Apple's restrictions.
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