Attack of the “Mac” Clones – UPDATE

psystar1I looked at Psystar’s site, and I found one thing really interesting in their Q&A section. The question was, can Apple updates be installed on the OpenMac? The answer was Yes and No. Yes most of the updates can be installed, and no some updates may cause you to have to reinstall Leopard. I guess if you really don’t care about running updates then your ok, right. They did have a link to a forum that said which updates are ok and which are not. I also noticed on their store page for the OpenMac that Mac OS X Leopard is an additional cost to the $399.99 price. For an additional $155.00 you can purchase Mac OS X Leopard, and if you purchase it with the computer they will install it for free. How generous of them. So, let me see if I have this correct. The computer they are selling for $399.99 will now cost you $554.99, and the least expensive Mac Mini sells for $599.00. Now the savings is $44.01, and not $200.00. Wait it gets better. If you want the FireWire ports that come standard on a Mac Mini, it will cost you an additional $50.00. The new price for this OpenMac is now $604.99. Now you are paying an additional $5.99 for the Mac Clone. So, there’s not really a savings when you completely build the computer. Sounds like buying a Dell Computer. They get you with the low price, which is a bare bones computer. But, once you add stuff to the computer, it is no longer this inexpensive computer. In their defense, they do say you see a savings when you buy in larger quantities.

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Attack of the “Mac” Clones

psystar2No, I am not talking about another Star Wars movie. I am writing about the return of the Mac Clones. This time they are not being manufactured by Apple Inc (AAPL); instead this new Mac Clone is coming from a Florida computer company named Psystar. They are offering for $399.99 a fully functioning Mac Clone running Mac OS X Leopard. One would say to themselves, “Great, a Mac for $399.99”. But here’s the catch. First it is not sanctioned by Apple. Apple has not giving the okay to produce a Clone. The second issue that this Mac Clone faces is Apple’s license agreement. In the Leopard license agreement it states that the Operating System can only be installed on Apple branded hardware. I am paraphrasing the license agreement. For the exact wording please refer to your Mac OS X Leopard license agreement, or you can visit Apple’s legal page for Hardware and Software Product Agreements, by clicking here. For $399.00 you are only receiving the computer and Mac OS X Leopard. You are not getting a monitor, keyboard, or a mouse. Yes, I know that is how a Mac Mini is sold, but when you purchase a Mac Mini you are receiving Apple’s 90-day phone support, and 1 year parts and labor; which run concurrent with the 90-day phone support. You will pay a little more for the Mac Mini; however, Apple will be around to support their product. I don’t know the specifics about Psystar’s warranty, but who knows if they will be around in a month or a year. Then you are left with a product that has no warranty support. Do I think it is a bad idea to have a Mac Clone? I would have to say yes. When you are buying an Apple product, you are buying a system that both the hardware and the software gel with one another. As Apple has stated in the past, “It just works”. ’nuff said. To read CNN Apple 2.0 article click here.