Another Mac clone maker tries its luck with Apple

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Just as the most prominent attempt at cloning Macs is falling apart, another is preparing to take its place and promises a better experience, even as it knows it will likely face a battle with Apple's legal team.



Quo Computer of Los Angeles plans to open a store on Monday, June 1st that will sell Life Q, Pro Q and Max Q models preinstalled with Mac OS X and which echo Apple's configurations when possible. They should start at prices less than most of Apple's systems, beginning roughly below $900.



Besides having a physical space to sample and buy its computers, though, Quo tells CNET that it plans to offer better-than-average hardware. It also wants to offer customer service "up there with Apple's," according to the young clone firm's founder, Rashantha De Silva. In fact, rather than try to differentiate itself from Apple, the California startup is priding itself on how closely it will copy Apple's practices as a whole -- with the exception of allowing more configurations.



"We are trying to mimic things as much as we can," De Silva says. "I'm hoping that Apple sees the value in what we are doing."



As optimistic as the company head may be about duplicating Apple's strategy, he and Quo aren't under illusions that they're completely immune from attack. De Silva expects that Apple "probably will" file a lawsuit but is counting on the quality of its systems doing better justice to Apple and, somehow, avoiding a legal penalty. He sees the clones increasing Apple's influence and ultimately its market share.



It's less than likely that Apple will share the same attitude. Psystar was sued just three months after it began offering its OpenMac (later OpenComputer) and was challenged not on the quality of its systems but on allegedly violating the Mac OS X End User License Agreement (EULA), which explicitly forbids installing and using the operating system on any computer without an Apple badge. The Mac maker rejected Psystar's beliefs that it, too, offered extra value and had the cloner's antitrust claims dismissed; Apple argued that, as it was competing against a larger PC market, it alone could dictate how and where its software would run.



But while Florida-based Psystar is facing bankruptcy as a combination of business and legal concerns drag it down, its West coast counterpart is already preparing to expand beyond its first three clones, with both an Apple TV-style hub and a small form factor parallel to the Mac mini possible in the future.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 200
    quevarquevar Posts: 101member
    First company wasn't doing so well, so it seems that all these Psystar backers have moved on to another company to go after Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 200
    Sounds like "Quo Computers" is another shady operation, maybe backed by the same people behind Psystar, testing Apple in court to sell Mac clones. It's likely no coincidence this new company shows up a week after Psystar bows out.



    Something fishy is going on here...Are you listening, Steve?
  • Reply 3 of 200
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quevar View Post


    First company wasn't doing so well, so it seems that all these Psystar backers have moved on to another company to go after Apple.



    that's my first thought. I dont do conspiracy theories but this company opens up right after Psystar's bankruptcy. coincidence?
  • Reply 4 of 200
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Well Apple is obviously playing a game of 'whack a mole' here.



    Now Steve Jobs knows better, he got rid of the cloners before, so why didn't he keep OS X tied to hardware like he had it under PPC? A extra hardware chip for Intel Macs?



    So what I'm thinking is this, he allows the cloners a free run for some time, bashes a few to make it look good and then with the next OS X release (Snow Leopard?) he clamps down the OS to EFI.



    EFI has to "check in" occasionally with Apple servers to verify OS X before it loads. So begins another DRM/cracker war, making it difficult to use OS X for commercial hackintoshes. (or slow them up by having to provide so many cracked updates)



    Far as I know the commodity PC boxes don't have EFI, right?



    What if Apple blended the OS X DRM with commercial apps? So nothing would run unless everything was kosher?



    Apple has to do something to stop the cloners, or is by allowing these guys to operate is this some sort of low end market share trojan horse?
  • Reply 5 of 200
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    If they're going to follow Apple so close with prices that aren't much different, then why risk going bankrupt?



    I'd rather spend the $100 extra and buy an Apple knowing I'm getting the real deal and full support.
  • Reply 6 of 200
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 604member
    ... is Apple Legal department sharpening their horns on a grinding wheel like the bull in the old Bugs Bunny matador cartoon...
  • Reply 7 of 200
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Well Apple is obviously playing a game of 'whack a mole' here.



    Now Steve Jobs knows better, he got rid of the cloners before, so why didn't he keep OS X tied to hardware like he had it under PPC? A extra hardware chip for Intel Macs?



    So what I'm thinking is this, he allows the cloners a free run for some time, bashes a few to make it look good and then with the next OS X release (Snow Leopard?) he clamps down the OS to EFI.



    EFI has to "check in" occasionally with Apple servers to verify OS X before it loads. So begins another DRM/cracker war, making it difficult to use OS X for commercial hackintoshes.



    Far as I know the commodity PC boxes don't have EFI, right?



    Apple has to do something, or is by allowing these cloners is this some sort of low end market share trojan horse?



    Better strategy is to take the battle where it will hurt cloners the most. For example, Apple can say "Ok, you want Mac clones then you have to pay $1000 for each Mac OS license for each computer" while offering the Mac specific version at the current price. This way it will be impossible for cloners to make money "legally". Apple can make it financially impossible to sell Mac clones but 90% of the solutions will cause inconvenience for most Mac owners.



    In my opinion, Apple though that the easiest and most effective way to fight Mac clones is in court by bankrupting the other party (even if the lawsuit does not make it to the end).
  • Reply 8 of 200
    slang4artslang4art Posts: 376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Better strategy is to take the battle where it will hurt cloners the most. For example, Apple can say "Ok, you want Mac clones then you have to pay $1000 for each Mac OS license for each computer" while offering the Mac specific version at the current price. This way it will be impossible for cloners to make money "legally". Apple can make it financially impossible to sell Mac clones but 90% of the solutions will cause inconvenience for most Mac owners.



    In my opinion, Apple though that the easiest and most effective way to fight Mac clones is in court by bankrupting the other party (even if the lawsuit does not make it to the end).



    That's fine and dandy but you seem to be missing Apple's stance. Apple doesn't want their IP in the hands of someone else; a company markedly less experienced and capable. This can lead to bad customer experiences. Sure, they can talk about how great they will be all they want, but in the end, Apple will just be wasting money on tech support for products they did not sell, as well as risking their entire brand image when ignorant customers blame Apple for their new "Pro Q" crapping out. I highly doubt Quo will be able to offer all of the little flourishes that make Apple customer service so great.
  • Reply 9 of 200
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post


    That's fine and dandy but you seem to be missing Apple's stance. Apple doesn't want their IP in the hands of someone else; a company markedly less experienced and capable. This can lead to bad customer experiences. Sure, they can talk about how great they will be all they want, but in the end, Apple will just be wasting money on tech support for products they did not sell, as well as risking their entire brand image when ignorant customers blame Apple for their new "Pro Q" crapping out. I highly doubt Quo will be able to offer all of the little flourishes that make Apple customer service so great.



    That was my point. There are many ways for Apple to block clones but as I said 90% of them will have negative effect on Apple and its customers. This is why Apple is using the due them approach. However, if the sue them approach will not work, I am sure Apple will take another action related to the OS installation, sale method, or both.
  • Reply 10 of 200
    slang4artslang4art Posts: 376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    That was my point. There are many ways for Apple to block clones but as I said 90% of them will have negative effect on Apple and its customers. This is why Apple is using the due them approach. However, if the sue them approach will not work, I am sure Apple will take another action related to the OS installation, sale method, or both.



    Ah, wasn't clear what your position was from the first post. I'd just hate to have to see Apple employ something in their products that lessens the customer experience/value, even if to some small degree.
  • Reply 11 of 200
    elliots11elliots11 Posts: 270member
    I say add a chip that also adds a benefit. That way it's not this dreaded, evil DRM chip, and people would probably still be able to pull off hackintoshes, but the performance hit would be noticeable without the chip so as to make doing it in the first place pointless.



    Oh, and eventually charge less and/or offer a mid range, easily user upgradable tower so that people get more value for their money (or at least feel that they do). That might just kill the whole cloning market without the need for a chip.
  • Reply 12 of 200
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Wanted: 20,000 white Apple stickers (badges).
  • Reply 13 of 200
    fraklincfraklinc Posts: 244member
    These idiots never learn. Why not just sale hardware and then let customers install OS X, Vista, XP or what ever the heck they wanna do?
  • Reply 14 of 200
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Another glorified screwdriver shop. I'm sure they'll be able to offer customer service just like Apple.
  • Reply 15 of 200
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,949member
    (Status) Quo Computing -- another company helping us innovate our way out of the recession
  • Reply 16 of 200
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,949member
    double post
  • Reply 17 of 200
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Rashantha De Silva? Sounds like a made up name.
  • Reply 18 of 200
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post


    that's my first thought. I dont do conspiracy theories but this company opens up right after Psystar's bankruptcy. coincidence?



    I don't do coincidences.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Rashantha De Silva? Sounds like a made up name.



    I believe he's in the UFC.
  • Reply 19 of 200
    timgriff84timgriff84 Posts: 909member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post


    That's fine and dandy but you seem to be missing Apple's stance. Apple doesn't want their IP in the hands of someone else; a company markedly less experienced and capable. This can lead to bad customer experiences. Sure, they can talk about how great they will be all they want, but in the end, Apple will just be wasting money on tech support for products they did not sell, as well as risking their entire brand image when ignorant customers blame Apple for their new "Pro Q" crapping out. I highly doubt Quo will be able to offer all of the little flourishes that make Apple customer service so great.



    Isn't this a bit over the top. After all were talking about computers there not exactly complex. There all made from standard parts and it's not like apple even put there machines together.



    And how is it going to lead them to have to support products they didn't sell? If anyone took one of these to apple to fix they just wouldn't do anything, same as when you take an apple product that's out of warrenty. If it's an os problem then they were paid and it's still there fault.



    I can't really see a problem here it gives consumers more choice and freedom. After all if you sell some software in a box people should be allowed to use it how they want. A pencil company couldn't specify people only use there pencils with there paper because they see other paper as inferio.
  • Reply 20 of 200
    notrsnotrs Posts: 40member
    Ok.. first, let me make this very clear. I am in no way supporting or defending these "cloners".

    As a mac owner for more than a decade... It's Apple all the way for me..



    However, as a thought, and for friendly debate..



    Apple has compiled every version of Mac OS X for both PPC and Intel since day one.

    What if... Apple released the PPC and Intel versions of Jaguar as a free but unsupported download?



    Jaguar is old enough to not really be able to compete with Tiger or Leopard or SL feature-wise. (Panther is debatable I suppose).



    I think that this would quench the hobbyist thirst for being able to make OS X compatible PC's and not really cause any damage to Apple or their intellectual property. It would also *kill* any business that tries to clone a Mac. (Why buy a mac clone when I can make one, and download Jaguar for free legally?)



    It would create an entire new community of legal and happy "hackintoshers" to come up with their own support. (Which in my mind would be a much more rewarding experience. Hell, I might even consider doing that for a fun project if it was legal)





    Anyway, my post is long enough. Thanks for reading.. please share your opinion



    - NotRs
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