Psystar claims to be selling $399 ‘Mac clone’

Psystar, a tiny computer company, claims to be selling a cheap “Mac clone” tower called “OpenMac” which comes in a black- or white-colored case.

The “OpenMac” tower comes with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility via emulated EFI firmware that Psystar claims fools Mac OS X into believing that OpenMac is a genuine Mac.

Psystar’s “OpenMac” in its base configuration retails for US$399 and includes:
• 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 Processor
• 2GB of DDR2 667 memory
• Integrated Intel GMA 950 Graphics
• 20x DVD+/-R SATA drive
• 4 USB Ports

“The highly extensible OpenMac is a configuration of PC hardware capable of running unmodified OS X Leopard kernels. If you purchase Leopard with your OpenMac, we will not only include the actual Leopard retail package with genuine installation disc, but we also include a Psystar restore disc for your OpenMac and we will preinstall Leopard for free so you can begin to use your computer right out of the box”, the Psystar website states.

More info via Pystar’s website [currently inaccessible] here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “oh my” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Software License Agreement for Mac OS X explicitly states: This License allows you to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so.

Expect Psystar’s Mac mini shoved into a fugly ATX PC tower case, er… “OpenMac,” to be shut down quicker than a Windows-powered Navy destroyer.


  1. Site down due to “massive influx” of users.

    Well, whatever. The mere fact that their Mac clone was a mini tower should give Apple a hint that demand exists for such a thing.
    Interesting that these cloners picked the one thing Apple does not make.

    One of the factors that inhibits mass deployment of Macs in business is the lack of a mini tower in the line up.
    IT guys don’t think much of all-in-one computers like the iMac, nor of the tiny, impossible-to-get-into-bring-your-putty-knife-and some-choice-cursewords Mac mini.
    Both are a pain to service.

    A true mini tower from Apple would be a boon.

    I would go as far as to say that such a beast is inevitable, once Apple makes headway into corporate America.

    What do you think chaps?

  2. One day I was thinking about the increased popularity and market share of Apple computers. Apple is the only one who makes the hardware and they do it in a minimalist way: not only in their design but also in the range of the models they offer. Consequentially, the more people buy Apple computers, the more of the same computers you will encounter. Now, imagine a market share of 30%. Users of Apple computers will more easily branded as lemmings, because they all use the same 3 or 4 models of computers. Where is the mindshare of being “different”?

    What I wanted to suggest to Apple is to let 3rd party builders come up with their own models, built on Apple certified hardware components (maybe even let them buy those components solely from Apple). Result will be that there are more models to choose from (not all people will like the design sanctioned by His Steve) and Apple retaining their profit margins.

    They still will be able to sell their OS (and MS shows this can be profitable) en Apple could position itself as the original and the provider of the most sophisticated premium designs.

    But I can imagine that Apple has some problems with manufacturers that come up with cheaper models that outperform their own offerings: they sure will remind the time of the clones. Still, I foresee problems with the exclusivity of Apple computers when more and more people own the same computer models.

  3. Although I remember the incident, I had forgotten the name of the USS Yorktown, the warship involved. I wonder if Tony DiGiorgio still has his job, or whether the military in its infinite stupidity for order and control, fired him?

  4. @ Apple should promote this

    No offense, pal, but you obviously haven’t grasped Apple’s business model.

    That being said, I’d give anything for a Mac mini tower. I’d switch every machine in my office (except my server) and dance the lambada around the parking lot. Oh, think of all the maintenance work I wouldn’t have to do anymore.

  5. Honda would sell more police cars in the US if they made a police car.

    BMW would sell more fire trucks in the US if they made a fire truck.

    The funny thing about all of the “Apple should sell an inexpensive …” features is they all hinge on the writer’s bias that great success only comes from selling the greatest quantity. As though the writer was trying to project his own version of success (the more people that read my words, the better writer I am) on to Apple.

    But, they always fail to just be at ease with the simple zen of it all – make some manageable number of things, make them really well, people will buy well made things, manage the business.

    All this rule the world stuff makes whoever thinks it can be done look foolish.

  6. I once had three PowerComputing machines — two for my office, and one at home. They did everything I needed them to do, and I’m sure that company would have continued to push the state of the Mac forward.

    Somewhere in my attic is the MacWorld with the sad ad “Lost our license for speeding!”

  7. Apple should make Tiger run on PCs and give it away for free. Then, PC users wouldn’t need to petition for XP to get its life extended, nor would they need to use Vista. Apple wouldn’t need to support Tiger, since it’s just a freebie, and PC users would get sucked into the Apple world. Next purchase, a Mac.

  8. I really do think that Apple could eventually let the software be sold on cheaper hardware, but I know that there would have to be a number of lock ins.

    the hardware would have to be a minimum level so it would be capable. And windows would have to be mostly dead in the world.

    Can it be done? SURE, Will it? I do not think so. there are still too many guffus duffus PC users in the world that can screw it up. so. Dont think is will occur for some time.

    Just a thought.


  9. I’ve long urged Apple to release a model along the lines of the Shuttle. The xPC model I own would require only an Apple motherboard to meet our needs for a headless, expandable Mac. About the size of a small shoebox, it includes the full panoply of I/O ports. It could easily sell for $999 and still meet Apple’s profit targets. Intel could easily design the board, the box can be made even smaller and more Apple-like by going with a slot-loaded optical. Heck, Shuttle could even do the work under OEM contract.

  10. Wow, look at that, a cheap, crappy, piece of junk PC clone tower you could buy at Fry’s. I’m sorry clones didn’t work back in the late 80’s or early 90’s and they won’t work now. Quality is non-existent and the hardware will be incompatible with all kinds of driver issues.
    Without Apple’s approval they don’t stand a chance, and frankly I wouldn’t trust anything that looks that crappy to begin with. A waste of money on a hacked together PC that will surely FAIL!

  11. If only Apple would release a computer like this. A tower with a real hard drive and expandability that costs in the $500 range. I’d buy one.

    And don’t point to the Mac Mini — it’s specs are outdated but for some reason Apple hasn’t updated it. That’s one knock against Apple compared to the PC makers — they are not keeping up as timely with incorporating the latest processors into their boxes. Good, bad, right or wrong — it’s just not happening.

    And I love Apple. But they are perfect.

  12. “The mere fact that their Mac clone was a mini tower should give Apple a hint that demand exists for such a thing.”

    let me get this straight, because someone makes a thing, it must be in demand…..

    MS wakes windows, do you think it is in demand?

    thank you for being proof that critical thinking is no longer taught in the educational system.

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