$329 HacBook channels Psystar; Will Apple’s lawyers pounce?

“An outfit called ‘HacBook’ is channeling Psystar, offering Mac OS laptops for US$329,” Simon Sharwood reports for The Register.

“The laptops are actually refurbished HP EliteBooks, with a 14-inch, 1600×900 display, Sandy Bridge i5 CPU, 802.11 a/b/g/n, up to 1TB of disk and 8GB of RAM. That’s a spec Apple could have sold you in about 2013,” Sharwood reports “‘Looks like a Mac. Feels like a Mac,’ says HacBook’s blurb, which describes the ‘HacBook Elite sports’ as offering ‘a gorgeous full-aluminium body that looks and feels extremely polished.'”

“The machines ship with no operating system but do include an installer its makers say ‘shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to set up.’ Jack Kim, one of the people behind the project, suggests you buy an OS X licence from Apple,” Sharwood reports. “We therefore asked Kim if he’s lawyered up. He told us ‘“We’re merely selling kits that users can then do whatever they want with afterwards. It’s optimized to run OS X, but you can install Linux or Windows on it and use it however you want – that’s completely up to the user. If Apple contacts us with concerns we’ll work together to solve them.'”

MacDailyNews Take: How do “you buy an OS X licence from Apple?” The OS X license agreement explicitly states, “…You are granted a limited, non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer at any one time.”

“Apple-branded computer” = Mac. Not some POS HP laptop.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The cheapskates’ quest for cheap Macs never ends.

BTW, you can get plenty of real, very inexpensive Macs from Amazon with actual Mac keyboards, Apple logos, and everything.

U.S. Supreme Court denies Psystar’s appeal in Mac clone case – May 15, 2012
Apple denied attempt to keep info secret in Psystar case – January 4, 2012
Would-be Mac cloner Psystar may escalate fight with Apple to Supreme Court – October 3, 2011
Judge hammers final nail in Psystar’s coffin, awards Apple key win against Psystar over Mac clones – September 29, 2011
Psystar files legal reply brief in response to Apple – July 29, 2010
Apple v. Psystar: Psystar files opening brief in appeal – May 18, 2010
Psystar files appeal against Apple win – January 18, 2010
Erstwhile ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar halts sales of Rebel EFI Mac cloning tool, will peddle Linux PCs – December 28, 2009
Lawyer: Erstwhile ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar not shutting down – December 20, 2009
Erstwhile ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar pulls plug; ‘shutting things down immediately’ – December 18, 2009
Apple wins permanent injunction against would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar – December 15, 2009
With authorized Mac clones dead, Apple looks to kill off Psystar’s ‘Rebel EFI’ – December 03, 2009
BusinessWeek’s Burrows: Psystar shouldn’t have messed with Apple – December 02, 2009
Psystar agrees to pay Apple $2.7 million settlement over unauthorized Mac cloning – December 01, 2009
Apple, Psystar reach partial settlement to cease sales of unauthorized Mac clones – December 01, 2009
Apple moves to kill second Psystar lawsuit – November 30, 2009
Failure to launch: Would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar sold just 768 PCs with Apple’s Mac OS X installed – November 26, 2009
Apple seeks to grind illegal Mac cloner Psystar into fine silicon dust – November 25, 2009
Apple files motion for permanent injunction to block Psystar from building and selling ‘Mac clones’ – November 24, 2009
Apple wins sweeping victory, crushes would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar in court – November 14, 2009
Meet the Pedraza brothers, the men behind would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar – November 11, 2009
Would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar up to its old tricks, claims it simply bundles software with Mac OS X – November 05, 2009
Would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar asks judge to declare it legitimate – November 02, 2009
Psystar’s Rebel EFI allegedly contains OSS Code covered under Apple Public Source License – October 29, 2009
Psystar expands into selling ‘Mac clone’ software (Rebel EFI) – October 23, 2009
Is Psystar’s real mission to publicize that running Apple’s Mac OS X on generic PCs is possible? – October 17, 2009
Psystar and Apple dispute whether Mac OS X security measures should be kept confidential – October 17, 2009
Would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar ‘happily’ agrees to Mac OS X injunction – October 16, 2009
Apple and would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar file summary judgement requests – October 12, 2009
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    1. No, they aren’t telling their customers to steal it. Only thieves think that way. The product they are selling is macOS, not the machine that it runs on.

      There’s much better hardware out there than Apple makes, but Mac users don’t buy it because it doesn’t run the macOS.


      If there were no macOS, and Apple were selling exactly the same computers they are now with Windows 10, no one would pay the price we pay for Apple computers. They appear to be extremely expensive for what you get. Dated hardware. Thing is, what you are really paying for is the right to run the macOS, and Apple only grants that right on their boxes.

  1. Anyone remember the Pedraza brothers? It has been some eight years since they crawled from under a rock (and about seven since they were sent right back by the court)…

    Perhaps these guys learned something from them?

      1. Half right..
        A Mac is both Apple’s hardware and software together.
        An Apple computer running Windows is no longer a Mac, and a PC running Apple’s OS is still not a Mac. Only when OS X/MacOS is running on an Apple computer is when it is truly a Mac.

  2. Apple will never license its OS again. They learned this the hard way back in the 90s, when Microsoft double-crossed them and almost destroyed them as a company. When Steve Jobs returned as CEO, that was one of his mandates: Apple OS only for Apple devices. The HacBook will be gone soon.

    1. “They learned this the hard way back in the 90s, when Microsoft double-crossed them and almost destroyed them as a company.” Huh?????

      What happened was that the Pre Jobs Apple CEOs thought that they could license the Mac System Software and reference hardware licenses and expand the total Mac user base. Instead the licensees went after Apple’s market share claiming they were less expensive and better than true Apple systems (which in some cases they were). Apple realized that its market share and over all sales were declining partly due to the licensees. The licensees were actually hastening Apple’s downfall. Apple was not recouping the cost to develop Mac System Software or the reference hardware designs from the fees the licensees were paying. This hurt Apple’s financial bottom line even further.

      Thus, one of Jobs’ first acts was to figure out how to kill the licenses Apple already had with the cloners.

      Unless Apple comes up with a completely different licensing model Apple will never support clones of *any* of its products. This is extremely unlikely. (I’d put it as about as likely as me living on the moon within the next decade.)

  3. They will get sued for material support of breaking Apple licensing terms.

    If they offer tools and instructions to aid the end user to install Mac OS on an ineligible system, then they are culpable. The computer itself isn’t the problem, it’s the marketing they are utilizing to sell that computer, effectively using Apples brand without a license, even at the, least implying that it could be used to run Mac OS.

    What if Dell or HP marketed their products, optimized to run Mac OS, or can run Mac OS with “this information,” “accessible here” or “instructions available soon?”

    Just saying, they aren’t even on thin ice, they jumped in a pit of fire.

  4. This is how much the POS 2016 Macbook should have costed. That would have made sense.. considering how cheap and underpowered it actually is when you look past the shiny surface.

    Maybe Apple will start pricing accordingly..

    But probably they will just sue.. The are the MAN now.

  5. There is nothing illegal in this. The only cheat is that if you want to hackintosh a box like this, then buy it off eBay.

    Since they don’t include OS X there is not legal issue. The multibeast installer is not illegal.

    And, yes, you can buy a license from Apple in the form of 10.6.3 which will allow an upgrade to the present OS.

    1. The answer from Apple if one could buy Apple OS 10.6.3 Snow Leopard and install it on a non-Apple computer was a flat, unequivocal “No.” The license specifically states that it is a license that allows the licensee to run it on an Apple labelled, Apple branded computer. It is not to be run on anything else. Any other such use would be in violation of the license, a legal contract between the user and the owner of the software, Apple.

  6. Huh, maybe if Apple itself wasn’t currently selling what “…Apple could have sold you in about 2013,” more people wouldn’t mind giving $1000 to Apple instead of $329 to HacBook ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .

  7. What many people still fail to understand is that a Mac is not a piece of hardware.

    If you take my 5k iMac remove MacOS and install Windows, it is no longer a Mac. It is a Windows machine. End of story. MacOS is the Mac. It is what makes a computer a Mac. Apple sells MacOS, wrapped in custom-ish hardware. MacOS is the crown jewels. Anyone can slap together a fine piece of hardware. And may of Apple’s competitors do.

    There are many computers I might be interested in except for one thing… they don’t run the macOS, not legally anyway.

    When you buy a Mac, you licensing the right to run the macOS on that machine, not an HP, not a Hackintosh, not a Dell. If you take that OS and run it on foreign hardware, you have violated the terms and agreement. ESPECIALLY if you turn around and sell the computer as a Mac.

    As far as those complaining about the cost… Apple is very clever. Apple seems to give away macOS, but the cost if factored into the price of each computer they sell.

    There is nothing particularly speciall about Apple hardware. If you look at a comparable Razer Blade, you get superior hardware, including the 6th generation intel Core i7-6700HQ vs. the 4th generation intel Core i7 4980Hq, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and so on. It’s all black and gorgeous. The entire keyboard is programmable, not just the function keys.

    And it’s about $1000 cheaper.

    The only problem? It runs Windows 10. Why is the MacBook Pro so much more expensive…

    BECAUSE YOU’RE PAYING TO RUN the macOS. Cause there ain’t a nerd here that wouldn’t jump on that razer if Apple put macOS on it and promised to support it.

    So don’t think of the Mac as a box. Think of it as an installer disk image, with macOS on it, because that is what the Macintosh is.

  8. Hackintosh systems get interesting when you can take better performing laptops or desktops out of them, then Apple are willing to provide right now – which even professionals have started doing, now that Apple hasn’t updated their hardware in years.

  9. If only…

    If only AAPL would fire the fashion designers in charge of Mac design.

    If only AAPL would produce a Mac Pro with the old chassis and latest processors and SSDs.

    If only AAPL could perform a simple annual update of Intel processor and memory systems in all products.

    If only AAPL would commit to rudimentary hardware updates and not delay to get the paint color just right.

    If only Steve Jobs could return for one day to kick ass and fire the idiots in the hardware design group.

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