Mac Clone Psystar Slams Steve Jobs

When a company hits the headlines with something big it’s bound to garner a bit of press interest, which is why we were a little surprised to see that the company touting the OpenMac machine seems to be so... unprepared, for the amount of attention it’s receiving.

Miami based Psystar announced a Mac clone dubbed the OpenMac (now called Open Computer and Open Pro) this week and with a price tag a quarter of the price you’d pay for a real Mac, it wasn’t long before the Internet was buzzing with news.

The first bump in the road came when the Apple legal team discovered the fact that the OpenMac machine came bundled with Mac OS X 10.5 (aka Leopard). The EULA for Leopard states that the licence allows you to install, use and run one copy of the OS on a single Apple-labelled computer, operative words being Apple-labelled. In light of all these we decided we should cut to the chase and call Psystar ourselves.

After being bounced around a couple of times we finally got to talk to Rudy Pedraza, President of Psystar.

According to Pedraza:

"We’re here to help Steve Jobs. He’s not making enough money. We’re here to help him increase sales."

Pedraza indicated that there’s a lot of bad press going on, but that all the the articles published so far were too quick to jump to conclusions.

When we asked about Apple’s EULA for Leopard and that no one was allowed to use Leopard on a computer that wasn’t Apple-labeled, Pedraza said "we’re going to do it whether Steve Jobs likes it or not."

Of course, we don’t need to tell you, were there’s a lawsuit, there’s several journalists sniffing around for a story.

Engadget attempted to ask Psystar about its involvement with OSx86 Project and determined that Psystar did not get permission from developers working on the OSx86 Project to sell their work. Netkas, the company who developed the EFI emulator Psystar is using, dubbed the Psystar crowd “liars” in a blog entry and told Engadget that not only did they contact Psystar when they heard about OpenMac but the Mac cloning company never got back to them. We also asked Pedraza if he knew about the OSx86 Project, and he said "of course." But Pedraza said that there’s a misunderstanding with the folks behind OSx86 Project. Pedraza said that "Psystar’s lawyers are in discussion with OSx86, otherwise we can’t comment."

If that wasn’t enough, the physical address listed on the Psystar website changed half way through the day. This address housed USA Koen Pack, a company that is in no way affiliated with Psystar. Gizmodo spoke to the manager of USA Koen Pack who claims the company has been at that address for two years. When we asked about the three address changes inside a week Pedraza confirmed that the address that was currently listed on the site was incorrect. When we asked for the correct address, Pedraza said he’d update the address (for the fourth time) right away, all while he was on the phone with us. The new address is now live on the Psystar website (changed from 10481 NW 28th St. to 10475). Pedraza said that the company needed to change its location to deal with the huge flow of incoming orders.

At the mention of Gizmodo’s investigation, Pedraza laughed and replied:

"Gizmodo got it completely wrong. Sorry Gizmodo - stick to News!"

We asked Pedraza what he thought about the coverage his company was receiving, he quickly chastised both Gizmodo and Engadget:

Pedraza: "well you gotta cover what’s hot [laughs]." > Tom’s: "You’re saying they got the wrong information?" Pedraza: "Gotta get those hits right?"

Earlier today, Psystar made a statement that it was no longer taking credit card orders due to down time with the processing system. We asked Pedraza about this and he said that the company is taking orders through PayPal now until credit card processing system can be brought back up. Prior to speaking to Pedraza directly, a Psystar phone receptionist told us that the company was processing credit card orders and wasn’t offline at all.

We’ll post more information as it comes.

[Editor’s note]: this article was written on a genuine Apple MacBook Pro.

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26 comments
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  • Anonymous
    Its shenanigans but I'm glad someone actually did a interview and has story instead of the blogging gonecrazy around the rest of the web.
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  • gxsolace
    LAWL. Hilarity ensues...
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  • Anonymous
    if the machine is fully capable to run MacOS, the company can just sell it as "white box" like many PCs, using words like "compatible" "capable" "fully functional with xxx" etc. For customers who buy these machines, it's up to their choice to install whatever OS for example Windows or Linux (in this case, MacOS retail pack?). Apple can't just sue someone who made a machine being "compatible", right?
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