Mac Clones Revisited: Some Companies Know the Difference

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I wrote earlier about Mac clones and where Apple may draw the line. A recent example I gave of the sheer bravado of the cloners was the story of EFI-X USA selling a dongle with PCs as pseudo-Mac clones. The company that supplies the dongle did not approve of this, and I mentioned in my article how EFI-X USA admitted as much.

Well, today comes a report that the company making the dongle (Arts Studios Entertainment Media) has officially severed ties with EFI-X USA as their North America distributor. According to the article: 

The whole situation was triggered when EFI-X USA LLC (unrelated to ASEM as a company) started peddling generic PCs with pre-installed OS X and the EFI-X dongle. This upset ASEM which sought to block the American shop from selling machines. A falling out of sorts ensued and, as of the 12th of January, ASEM has come forward and denounced the EFIX USA business model as breaching its NDA and terms & conditions.

Good for them. As they had shown before, they see a difference between selling an item for a one-off Mac installation on PCs, and wholesale distribution of what are essentially Mac clones. As explained in my post, Apple has little history of going after one-off “Hackintoshes,” but are not likely to stand around while anything resembling a ready-made Mac is being sold to the public at large. 

Keep in mind that the dongle in question is still available. ASEM has simply picked a more, shall we say, ethical, distributor: 

ASEM has appointed a new EFI-X partner in the US. It’s named Express HD, a newly-founded hardware etailer that’ll take over selling ASEM’s EFI-X UEFI dongle.

Lest there be any doubt this was a case of ASEM knowing the difference between enabling a thing, and selling it ready-made as a “Mac,” comments from ASEM’s CEO should make it clear: 

Not peddling hardware pre-installed with OS X and not pitching itself as a competitor to Apple is what sets the EFI-X apart from the likes of Psystar and other clone makers, says [ASEM CEO David] Rutigliano.

Exactly. 

Obviously, I don’t know what Apple’s future intentions are regarding the practice of bypassing the Mac OS X EULA and installing it on non-Apple hardware. Maybe at some point they’ll decide ASEM’s dongle makes it a little too easy, and try to shut it down as well. But I tend to think they won’t, certainly not anytime soon, and will continue to focus their efforts on the Psystars of the world.

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