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Is the time of the Mac clones nearing?




Jayvee left a *smug* comment in my last entry about Macs and PCs. While replying to his comment, I realized that the introduction of Intel procs into Mac boxes will actually open the gates to popularizing Mac clones, the same way we had cheap IBM PC clones for decades.

Well, you can buy just any PC with an Intel Core 2 Duo or something, a really nice display, casing and all, install OS X Tiger of Leopard and you’ve basically have all that features and functionalities that *allegedly* makes the Mac better.

But what if you can get the same basic *advantages* and install it on a Php25,000 PC or maybe an XPC? What will happen to the Mac mini?

How about laptops too? What will stop the Chinese to manufacture low-cost Mac clones now that you only need the Mac OS? And people could actually get cracked versions too.

What will Mac fanatics feel once that thick line separating the Mac and the PC goes silk thin? What’s the lowest cost of acquisition for Mac nowadays — Php50k? How about Mac clones for half the price?

Good times for some, bad times for others.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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19 Responses

  1. noel says:

    Good times definitely. People can just use VMware and create virtual machines. WinXP, Linux, OSx in 1. Now that’s cool.

  2. Gloria says:

    the chinese can CLONE anything. ;-) therewill come a time brand is no more important, just the specs. ;-)

  3. Miguel says:

    Not so fast… a machine must support the Apple-Intel architecture (wikipedia) to boot OS X. The Intel Mac is not a plain x86 PC.

  4. yuga says:

    @ Migs

    I’m sure them Chinese manufacturers will take note of that small detail. *hehehe*

  5. rick says:

    ahh the effects of spicy foods on one’s imagination.

  6. “What will Mac fanatics feel once that thick line separating the Mac and the PC goes silk thin? What’s the lowest cost of acquisition for Mac nowadays — Php50k? How about Mac clones for half the price?”

    I’m Mac fan, and frankly, I don’t care much. I think introducing people to the Mac (even on non-Mac hardware) will help usher in love for the system.

    Also, I can always install OS X on my new, non-Apple laptop and it will be faster than my old PowerBook. But Apple hardware is worlds apart from non-Apple hardware. It’s a different experience using OS X on an Apple and an HP (or a Dell, or IBM, etc.).

  7. yuga says:

    But most of the “Apple hardwares”, including iPods and Nanos, are produced in China. The same place where clones are manufactured.

  8. It’s actually the image and look that Apple puts a premium on as opposed to the hardware. In reality Macs aren’t the fastest pc’s or laptops around, and they’re also not the most upgradable – but they look so sleek you wanna eat rice off em (if you can afford them).

    The challenge in cloning the mac would be to get the look right and not the hardware. Apart from using EFI, GUID Partition Table, Trusted Platform Module; most customized pc’s and beefed up laptops will beat the Mac hands down in performance for the same price. Slap on a new nvidia 8800gtx card and an intel core 2 duo Extreme e6800 on a DFI 975X Infinity motherboard and watch it make the Mac eat dust for the same price. It may not have EFI but it is pure power at its rawest from.

    That’s why you don’t see gaming enthusiasts on the Mac platform. But, on the other hand, you don’t see a lot of pc’s that can stand up to the image of a Mac. Even the newest Lian li tower cases or the fastest gaming notebook from alienware look like tin cans when placed side by side to their Mac counterparts.

    Cloning a mac is about stealing the design and look of the Mac.

  9. Pinoy Stupid says:

    This is really really really bad. You can actually analogize this to buying authentic luxury items and seeing others parading their counterfeit carbon copies.

  10. vance says:

    many has done that, buy a cheap duo core laptop (not the core 2 duo one) and turn it to a macbook.

    it is illegal but it is cheaper.

  11. yuga says:

    If you’ve watched the recent Apple Mac Ads, Apple is pushing for features/advantages that the Mac has and the PC doesn’t, nothing about the branding.

    If Apple products were truly a luxury item, the iPod won’t get 70% market share.

    The questions becomes — what if all these *advantages* can be had on a PC clone, less the pogi points?

  12. jayvee f. says:

    steve jobs has always stressed that Apple is not a software company – but a hardware company. Unlike Microsoft.

    Then again, I do see it possible that the Mac could be copied one day.

    But that would present several disadvantages to the clones since Macs will have better tech support via AppleCare. Or am I just rambling?

  13. Carlo says:

    Mac is still better than PC. (That’s for me) I think a cloned Mac will soon be available. Actually there are DVD iso’s available at many torrent sites for download. They are already patched for the Intel PC architecture but there are still flaws, PPC apps are not stable and there are many PPC apps that won’t run.

  14. maclover says:

    i think people who lack an understanding about the mac architecture and its operating system shouldn’t go about spouting nonsense on the possibility of it getting cloned.

  15. yuga says:

    @ maclover

    I don’t want to veer the discussion but if humans can be cloned, any technology can be cloned. Why not the Mac? What’s so special & hi-tech with Apple products’ architecture that you can’t clone them?

    Don’t get me wrong — I’m an Apple fan myself having had 4 iPods in the last 2 years. My next laptop purchase would definitely be a black Macbook Pro.

    My point being — Apple’s switch to Intel made it easier than ever to have some other hardware not stamped with the Apple logo to have the same features and advantages the Macs have over PCs (OSX being a common denominator).

  16. vance says:

    anyone can clone the macbooks! hehe, Anyways I saw a macbook not pro sold for 65K sa isang shop sa greenhills hindi po retailer pero core duo ang nakalagay eh.

  17. wilson ng says:

    yes, I think apple made sure people won’t do that, so while Macs can technically run Windows, most Intel PCs will not be able to run OS X.

  18. firenze says:

    i’m so happy to find this heretical post. i, too, am wondering about the effects of the Intel Core Duo.

    don’t get me wrong. i love macs. they are excellent machines. but too many mac fans flaunt macs for the wrong reasons… parang props lang for insecure egos. kung di ka tiwala sa fashion sense mo, buy a real Vuitton. kung gusto mong in ka sa advertising circle, flaunt a 17″ silver laptop, kahit na luma, at MS Office 2003 lang naman ang laman.

    i’m not one of those pretentious people. i don’t care about vuitton and other status symbols. i use macs because i NEED to… because most of the software i use run only on macs. Final Cut, Shake, Maya… Some software, like Final Draft, don’t really NEED to be on a Mac, but are connected to professional-AV files that are most likely edited on macs and stored in Mac-formatted hard drives. so my hands are tied.

    i understand paying P100k for original software, kasi ethical and NECESSARY. pero sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, there is something severely unethical about adding P150k more to my hardware budget para lang yung machine ko ay prettier or sleeker than i need it to be. there is something ethical din naman about having gorgeous mac hardware, tapos puro pirated naman ang software mo.

    i’m not saying it’s unethical for Apple to charge a premium for beautiful hardware. i’m only saying that it’s unethical for ME to pay for hardware that are prettier than i need them to be.

    so, for the meanwhile, my best compromise is a fully loaded 24″ iMac for P180,000. i haven’t bought it yet, and i’m postponing it for as long as i can; hoping for a sale or discout. but if i can find an equivalent intel Core Duo based PC that can run MacOS and read Mac-formatted external drives without corrupting the files, i’ll junk the Apple hardware anytime.

    thanks yuga, for being heretical. sometimes, kailangan talaga ng heretics to propel dialogues forward. more power to you.

  19. firenze says:

    (PLS IGNORE PREVIOUS POST. may fatal typo eh. tnx).

    i’m so happy to find this heretical post. i, too, am wondering about the effects of the Intel Core Duo.

    don’t get me wrong. i love macs. they are excellent machines. but too many mac fans flaunt macs for the wrong reasons… parang props lang for insecure egos. kung di ka tiwala sa fashion sense mo, buy a real Vuitton. kung gusto mong in ka sa advertising circle, flaunt a 17″ silver laptop, kahit na luma, at MS Office 2003 lang naman ang laman.

    i’m not one of those pretentious people. i don’t care about vuitton and other status symbols. i use macs because i NEED to… because most of the software i use run only on macs. Final Cut, Shake, Maya… Some software, like Final Draft, don’t really NEED to be on a Mac, but are connected to professional-AV files that are most likely edited on macs and stored in Mac-formatted hard drives. so my hands are tied.

    i understand paying P100k for original software, kasi ethical and NECESSARY.

    pero sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, there is something severely unethical about adding P150k more to my hardware budget para lang yung machine ko ay prettier or sleeker than i need it to be.

    there is something UNethical din naman about having gorgeous mac hardware, tapos puro pirated naman ang software mo.

    i’m not saying it’s unethical for Apple to charge a premium for beautiful hardware. i’m only saying that it’s unethical for ME to pay for hardware that are prettier than i need them to be.

    so, for the meanwhile, my best compromise is a fully loaded 24″ iMac for P180,000. i haven’t bought it yet, and i’m postponing it for as long as i can; hoping for a sale or discout. but if i can find an equivalent intel Core Duo based PC that can run MacOS and read Mac-formatted external drives without corrupting the files, i’ll junk the Apple hardware anytime.

    thanks yuga, for being heretical. sometimes, kailangan talaga ng heretics to propel dialogues forward. more power to you.

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