The legal side of things; Apple
Tuan: May I play devil’s advocate with you for a second?
Davide: You’re welcomed to!
Tuan: Say I am Apple. I come to you and say: "we understand your business model. However, the fact that you enable users that don’t own Mac hardware to run our operating system, hurts our own hardware Mac sales — It negates the necessity of owning Mac hardware to use an Apple operating system.
How would you respond to that?
Davide: I can respond to that with another question. How many people with a limited edition motherboard, a liquid cooling setup and a hand picked processor for overclocking and low latency DDR2 memory do you know that would buy a Mac?
Tuan: Regardless of the number of those people, you cannot guarantee that those users would NOT buy or consider buying Mac.
Davide: Then we encourage those people to buy a Mac, but our main target is not the typical Mac user. Our target is who would not buy a Mac for a series of reasons.
Tuan: I see. That we can understand. But therein lies some ambiguity because since you cannot fully guarantee that your target audience would never buy a Mac, they then still remain as potential hardware sales losses. Correct?
Davide: That’s what the hardware compatibility list is there for. The EFiX will work only on what we want it to work. This is to limit the users to exactly those that we want to use the module. I’m telling you that our module will as a matter of fact boost [Apple’s] sales too. Because the kind of people we address the product to will not mind buying Apple accessories, software and such, or why not a MacBook Air to compliment their Frankenstein at home on the desk.
Tuan: And you avoid the EULA that prevents Leopard being installed on a PC because then that falls on the hands of the end user.
Davide: We do more than that. We take to court whoever sells our modules bundled with a PC — and we are very aggressive about it. Our distributors sign a contract that prohibits them from selling PCs bundled with our modules.
Tuan: Right, because then they’d be selling a hackintosh of sorts, going the route of Psystar.
Davide: Not only that, they are taking away from Apple, its rightful piece of the market. Apple must have what belongs to them. We want to be for Apple what Iomega or Lacie is to them; someone that goes in their same direction, not someone who challenges or damages them.
Tuan: Okay, back to being myself now. So you’re saying that those who are interested in the EFiX are already interested in buying a legal copy of Leopard.
Davide: Bingo. But they don’t want to spend money on a desktop not addressed to them.
Tuan: This is primarily a concern for many Tom’s Hardware readers. They want to try Leopard but the cost of entry is a barrier that makes no sense to them.
Davide: That’s why we want to go alongside with Apple. It’s not really the amount of cash that is scary. It’s the meaning of it.
Davide: To one of Tom’s Hardware’s readers for example, an overclocker, modder, spending money for an iMac or Mac Pro is a waste.
Tuan: And the fact is, Apple doesn’t have enough hardware choices for them.