More unofficial Mac clones up for sale on eBay

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.







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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 329
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,092member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 329
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    Where's the Bluetooth and WiFi? I guess the Mini is a good deal after all
  • Reply 3 of 329
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 329
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 329
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 329
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    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
  • Reply 7 of 329
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 329
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    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..
  • Reply 9 of 329
    ros3ntanros3ntan Posts: 201member
    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..
  • Reply 10 of 329
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    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...
  • Reply 11 of 329
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 329
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 329
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    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...
  • Reply 14 of 329
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 329
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    "...the $400 Mac clone"



    Correction, the $555 mac clone. For $400 you only get hardware but no OS.
  • Reply 16 of 329
    vinitaboyvinitaboy Posts: 156member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 329
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 329
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 329
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,061member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 329
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    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)
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