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ECT News Community   »   MacNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: A Clone of Their Own: Psystar's Pedraza Brothers

Re: A Clone of Their Own: Psystar's Pedraza Brothers
Posted by: Evan S. Benn 2008-05-06 06:47:22
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From their hole-in-the-wall office in Doral, Fla., brothers Rudy and Robert Pedraza are waging war on Silicon Valley. The 24- and 22-year-old computer whiz kids are undercutting Apple by building "clone" computers with Mac software and selling them for less money than the tech behemoth. The daring move -- cloned PCs are old news, but Apple has been vigilant against Mac imitations -- has sent shock waves through the techie world. With little business experience and nothing to lose, the two South Florida brothers are relishing their revolutionary moment.

1) these guys are stealing intellectual property, pure & simple.

os/x is sold as an UPGRADE for macs - apple's business model rests upon the margins it obtains for its hardware, so the (o/s) software is just a way of recouping sunk costs: it is NOT the raison d'etre of the company (unlike the role of windows for microsoft).

so there is nothing 'revolutionary' in stealing the real, instrinsic margins of the mac while re-selling os/x at (apple's own) COST.

the effect of this piracy (if unopposed) would be to kill the goose (hardware margins) that lays the golden egg (a low-ROI o/s).

2) however it is perhaps not surprising (though not a little ironic) that a law prof in their own town would compare their modus opeandi (theft) to that of another (in)famous start-up alslo predicated upon theft - microsoft!

.... because they certainly couldnt be compared to the start-up (apple) that succeeded by actually /building/ something -- apple.

psystar adds little or no value-add to their clones: they do not create the firmware (in fact they steal the efi emulator) nor do they write any of the drivers for the hardware.

these guys are definitely NOT 'whiz kids' - they are just a classic white-box assembly operation.

3) the whole mac ethos is about having our machines show respect for the operator of the device (ie a tool that does not get in the way) ...

these guys not only violate the letter of the law (eula) they also violate its spirit.

yes, apple should aggressively position a more gpu-robust mac 'mini' at $500 -- and leave a more cpu-robust imac as a prosumer $1000+ device --

(btw: notice how well apple is already filling-in the sub-$500 space ... albeit with under-powered single-function devices like the appletv & the airport (which should also be a real osx box), ... however apple has brilliantly nailed value proposition in the mobile space with the iphone/itouch, so that is proof that over time apple does know how to offer the correct product mix.)

... nonetheless, the existence of a gap in the value proposition at one price-point ($750) does not justify some thieves fobbing-off clones on unsuspecting public who will essentially be freeriders - getting all the benefits without paying their fair share of the cost.

if these guys really want to impress the mac universe, then they should bloody well roll up their sleeves & invent something like everyone else does!
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