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Apple Asks That 3G-enabled MacBook Pro be Returned

By - Source: CNet | B 49 comments

Apple wants its property back.

A little while back, an eBay user with a listing for a 3G-equipped MacBook Pro caused quite a stir. Though it was purchased as a for-parts laptop from a seller on Craigslist, Apple demanded the listing be removed. Now it seems that Apple isn't just happy with blocking the sale, it wants its prototype laptop back.

CNet got in touch with the owner of the Macbook Pro, a man from North Carolina named Carl Frega. Frega says he was contacted by Apple yesterday afternoon to have someone from Cupertino come pick up the laptop in question. Interesting, considering an Apple Store employee actually saw the machine and refused to fix it because it was supposedly filling with third-party components.

Frega told CNet that he came by the laptop on Craigslist and repaired it before selling it on again (something he does regularly with all kinds of computer equipment). The new owner had a problem with the computer and took it to the Genius Bar to have it fixed only to be told that "nearly every internal part was third-party" and they couldn't fix it. According to the Genius Bar work order, the main logic board, optical drive, display, hard drive, and top case were non-Apple parts. This is despite the fact that the motherboard was the trademark red that Apple uses in its prototypes. The person that had purchased the machine from Frego ended up taking him to small claims court for selling him a fake MacBook Pro and Frega ended up with the MacBook Pro and an order to pay the other party $740.

Except now it seems Apple has decided that this MacBook Pro is not filled with third-party components, but is a genuine Apple prototype that it wants back. Frego did not offer any more details about arrangements to return the prototype to Apple, including whether or not he'll be reimbursed for the cash he coughed up to buy it in the first place. His unique laptop garnered a significant amount of attention when it appeared for sale on eBay as a collectors item and bidding reached $70,000 in less than a day.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    chick0n , September 1, 2011 2:14 PM
    Apple wants to control everything, and their zealots are happy about.

    Talk about pathetic.
  • 25 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2011 2:44 PM
    Apple should have to pay the $70,000 ebay price. Apple has no right to make ebay end an auction like that. The guy paid for the item he owns it, and he should be able to sell to who ever wants it. Apple NEVER reported it stolen. Apple only got involved after it hit ebay.
    Apple, YOU SUCK. If you dont believe in the rights of the american, then move your corporate HQ to china with your other communist friends, FOXXCONN
  • 21 Hide
    monkeysweat , September 1, 2011 2:17 PM
    apple should pay for it,,,,unless they can prove it was stolen property,, but at least have decency to reimburse the guy for some of the troubles he had --- considering apple already had the thing in their hands at one time.
Other Comments
  • 27 Hide
    chick0n , September 1, 2011 2:14 PM
    Apple wants to control everything, and their zealots are happy about.

    Talk about pathetic.
  • 21 Hide
    monkeysweat , September 1, 2011 2:17 PM
    apple should pay for it,,,,unless they can prove it was stolen property,, but at least have decency to reimburse the guy for some of the troubles he had --- considering apple already had the thing in their hands at one time.
  • 9 Hide
    christop , September 1, 2011 2:30 PM
    Is it me or does it look like an older pro book.
  • 5 Hide
    wingartz , September 1, 2011 2:35 PM
    christopIs it me or does it look like an older pro book.

    Powerbook 17" or the macbook pro 17" with the first intels inside
  • 6 Hide
    danraies , September 1, 2011 2:37 PM
    Give him some free stuff - a new macbook, an iphone, and an ipad - and call it a day. You can't blame the guy for wanting to sell the unique computer, but it's also hard to blame apple for wanting to keep their prototypes away from prying eyes.
  • 25 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2011 2:44 PM
    Apple should have to pay the $70,000 ebay price. Apple has no right to make ebay end an auction like that. The guy paid for the item he owns it, and he should be able to sell to who ever wants it. Apple NEVER reported it stolen. Apple only got involved after it hit ebay.
    Apple, YOU SUCK. If you dont believe in the rights of the american, then move your corporate HQ to china with your other communist friends, FOXXCONN
  • 20 Hide
    kilo_17 , September 1, 2011 2:45 PM
    I wouldn't give it back.
  • 10 Hide
    chick0n , September 1, 2011 2:56 PM
    kilo_17I wouldn't give it back.


    Then Apple will do what they do best ... sent their army of lawyers after you ...
  • 15 Hide
    cyprod , September 1, 2011 3:10 PM
    chick0nThen Apple will do what they do best ... sent their army of lawyers after you ...

    I'd actually be willing to take the lawyers up on that. Since the laptop was taken to a mac store, and they refused to service it claiming it wasn't an apple product, this sets a precedent for it not being stolen property. In court I'd simply say "it was returned to apple, and at that point they had an oppertunity to claim ownership, they did not, thus is must not have been stolen", and as long as you can prove it isn't stolen property, apple can't do anything other than to ask nicely to have it back.
  • 12 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , September 1, 2011 3:26 PM
    Yeah, and this is EXACTLY why I work against Apple in every way possible -- they're bastards.


    "Over my dead body" is what I'd tell them. Even then, I'd glue the Laptop to my dead body, so they can enjoy taking it. It's that dudes laptop, and they have no right whatsoever.


    I'm sick of these Nazi bastards thinking they have ultimate and unquestionable control. You paid some Chinese man/woman/child some pathetic wage to produce this product, and now you're getting all self righteous as if you're the good guys.


    Please! They should've shut them down and fined their asses when they purpose and willfully submitted fake and doctored evidence to courts -- out of pure spite to get their way with Samsung.
  • 8 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , September 1, 2011 3:30 PM
    scook9You clearly do not have any experience with the law......does not matter how much you paid for it, you could have even traded a kidney for it - if it was not obtained through legitimate means it is stolen property and you will not get any reimbursement or even a thank you when they seize it (which they could probably have the sheriff come and do). It is obviously Apple's intellectual and physical property. Sure someone stole it a few years ago and Apple may not have made a stink about it - that does not make it any less theirs.The fact that everyone is hating apple for this is pretty pathetic and shows how ignorant the majority of society really is....you can bet Apple is trying to identify who was in custody of this prototype when it went missing and will be firing them if they still work there. And I can't blame that at all for that.I am in no way a fan boy, had an ipod touch and stopped using it completely when I got my first android phone - that is my total involvement in Apple products. No I do not like them much as a company but in this case I have to take their side.Don't let fanboy hate blind you guys.....you can hate apple and still understand why they would be reacting this way.Is it also "evil" of Intel to block the selling of ES chips? Exact same thing....



    Is your back red yet from all the self-patting you've done?


    You act like just because it's a "Law", that it must be blessed by the big man himself as being completely correct and morally sound.


    This is bullshit in it's purest form. We all know that even if it WASN'T stolen, Apple would produce fake evidence or witnesses to say THAT IS WAS STOLEN.


    Seriously, you think Apple can't just print some document right now to say: "Hey, yeah, It was stolen a while back and now we want it back". I'm sure they even ringed Mr. Jobs..."Hey, Stevie my man...do you think you could whip up a quick word document claiming our property was stolen again?"......"Oh, you can!? Great, talk to you later Stevie o'boy!"


    They already got caught blatantly lying to the Euro courts -- what stops them from doing it here? Nothing apparently, because no one went after them in Europe.
  • 12 Hide
    of the way , September 1, 2011 3:43 PM
    scook9And how can you prove it was not stolen? Can you trace it back to the apple store where it was purchased? Or the agreement where Apple handed it off to someone as their property now. Just because the current owner did not steal it does not make it not stolen.


    It seems to me that you have to prove that a law was broken, not that you didn't break the law. Is there any proof that it was stolen?
  • 11 Hide
    rwpritchett , September 1, 2011 3:47 PM
    If the macbook has been stolen, then Apple should give the guy a new macbook in exchange for the prototype and write it off as a class-act PR move. Consider it a reward offered for finding the lost item.

    Remember that guy who found the iPhone 4 prototype in a bar that tried to sell it to Gizmodo? Apple sent the police to raid his house and Apple got quite a bit of public backlash for that move. Have they learned anything from that?
  • -9 Hide
    scook9 , September 1, 2011 3:50 PM
    of the wayIt seems to me that you have to prove that a law was broken, not that you didn't break the law. Is there any proof that it was stolen?

    If they can prove that it was never sold or given away (which they most likely could) then the only conclusion that could be drawn is that it was stolen.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , September 1, 2011 3:52 PM
    @scook9

    if it was stolen or went missing some kind of police report would have to be issued therefore police involvement would be required to at least clean up the case file even if it was settled amicably, in short there was no police involvement so it was never reported stolen (and i yet to see someone successfully file a police report for an item that was stolen 3 years prior)
  • 9 Hide
    socalboomer , September 1, 2011 3:56 PM
    scook9And how can you prove it was not stolen? Can you trace it back to the apple store where it was purchased? Or the agreement where Apple handed it off to someone as their property now. Just because the current owner did not steal it does not make it not stolen.


    Actually, it's the other way 'round. Apple has to show that it was stolen - not misplaced, not discarded, not sold but actually stolen.
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