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Desktops (Apple) Businesses Hardware Apple

New Mac Clone Maker 'Quo' To Open Retail Store 296

bughunter writes "Cnet is reporting that Mac clone maker Quo Computer plans to open its first retail location, selling Mac clones, on June 1st. To start, Quo will offer three desktop systems: the Life Q, Pro Q, and Max Q. While details of the components are not yet available, founder Rashantha De Silva said they are looking at Apple's system configurations for guidance. Pricing has also not been finalized on the desktop machines, but the company is looking to start pricing at less than $900. While Quo is starting off with the desktop machines, De Silva said it is looking at offering an Apple TV-like media server and a smaller computer similar to the Mac Mini. He acknowledges that Quo will likely face opposition from Apple, much like Psystar. 'They probably will (sue us),' De Silva said. 'There are others doing this, but we have a different attitude. There are thousands of people in the "Hackintosh" market, but many of them are creating bad products. I don't think anyone wins in that environment.'"
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New Mac Clone Maker 'Quo' To Open Retail Store

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30, 2009 @10:25AM (#28149213)
    Why would anyone want to run Mac OS on unsupported hardware? It's going to be unstable, missing features, and chances are that getting updates from Apple to install with or without hosing your installation is going to be a bitch.

    If you want OS X that bad why not just buy a Mac?
  • Vaporware? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slarrg ( 931336 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @10:39AM (#28149311)
    Basically, they're launching a retail store on Monday and don't know what configurations and prices will be for offer.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wstrucke ( 876891 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @10:47AM (#28149371)

    The same argument applies (arguably doubly so) to people running pirated copies of Windows.

    Not really, no. Windows is designed to run on commodity hardware from any vendor. OS X is designed to run only on Apple hardware. In reality it's not at all the same thing.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dhalka226 ( 559740 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @10:48AM (#28149377)

    If you want OS X that bad why not just buy a Mac?

    Because Macs are hideously expensive for the level of hardware you get compared to the level of hardware you can get for a PC for the same price. If you can't see the difference between $899 (tops) and $1149 for an iMac and $2300 for a Mac Pro (minimums)*, well, you either have entirely too much money to throw around or you're just a horrible fanboi.

    For that matter, who says it's going to be unsupported hardware? Macs moved to Intel and commodity hardware years ago; there's nothing stopping somebody from buying literally the same components found in a Mac and simply charging less, unless you really believe that Apple isn't making... shall we say, healthy profit margins on their hardware.

    There are essentially two reasons to buy a Mac: The first is you like the Mac, by which I mean the actual hardware. Whether it's the design, the clean insides, the sturdy feel or what have you. The other is OS X. If the first doesn't apply to somebody, why shouldn't they want to save several hundred dollars to get #2?

    Maybe these clones will suck; we'll see. If that's the case, I'm sure the market will take care of them. If not, well, you have your answer.

    * These prices pulled from their website as of the time of this posting.

  • by wstrucke ( 876891 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @10:50AM (#28149389)

    This is probably the reason Apple will not see Quo just as a manufacturer who will help popularize their OS.

    That and the fact that Apple is a hardware company, which everyone seems to forget. OS X is built specifically to sell Apple computers. Apple != Microsoft, but since most consumers see the computer for the OS, it becomes OS X versus Windows instead of Apple versus HP or Apple versus Dell, which is the way Apple sees it. Why do you think they are so ready to advertise running Windows on your mac? They don't care if you don't use OS X, they just want you to buy their computers.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dhalka226 ( 559740 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @10:55AM (#28149421)

    Apple are really being dumb by sticking with their own hardware, imho.

    I'm not a huge fan of Apple, but one thing they're not is stupid. I'm sure they've run the numbers and determined they make more money by keeping OS X exclusive to their hardware (ie, not cannibalizing their own hardware sales and the large profit margins they can make on them) than taking the hardware sales loss to greatly inflate their sales of OS X, where margins are probably much thinner--and where, frankly, Microsoft can and does play dirty with their pricing.

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @11:04AM (#28149473)
    But if Apple dominated the OS market they could control the hardware market too. If Apple got every PC user hooked to OS X as much as every Mac fanboy, Apple could switch architectures and take the hardware market with it....
  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @11:18AM (#28149541) Homepage Journal

    Apple's belief that they should be a hardware company (as they were when they started) is what keeps their share of the market from growing. If they want to grow (maybe they don't really want to, and that's okay too) then they are going to have to change. It seems to ancient idea now when hardware (including their own) has become commodity to such an extent.

    I know it's an opinion, but it's a widely held opinion: Apple does better at building an OS that Microsoft. If they had refocused a few years ago and changed the attitude that the OS only sells hardware I think Microsoft would actually have to some real competition.

    Every time Apple has shot down clone competitors have had to just shake my head. It seems exactly the opposite of what they should be doing. Didn't they learn by watching the evolution of the PC? If they wanted to they could emulate that success by getting their OS to run better that Windows on all types of hardware. They could sell more copies of the OS and bring down the price, etc.. etc.. etc..

    They aren't stupid at Apple... so maybe they know this and are just ignoring it. But jessh, doesn't it seem like they could really, really
    have great opportunities with these clone companies? There are millions of people that would choose an Apple OS over a Windows OS if it worked as well (and with Apple's expertise it would probably work a lot better) on reasonably priced, reasonably solid commodity hardware.

    Maybe they like their market share the way it is. People yell about Apple's share of the market, but even a 5% share of the size of the multi-billion computer market is still big, and our addition to economic growth is just that... an addiction.


  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mario_grgic ( 515333 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @11:24AM (#28149579)

    Yes, that's true for electronics inside the box. It's all commodity hardware. Apple does not make their own memory or CPU or hard drive.

    But they do make their own motherboards, they make their own cooling solutions, they often meticulously design power supplies to be quiet, they will often times design the battery. They design the cases to be sturdy, have excellent heat conduction and they are quiet.

    I was amazed when I first opened my Mac Pro how simple and elegant it is inside and how amazingly quiet (for heavy aluminum case that's quite a feat). As you can see I value quiet quite a bit :D.

    And things like these are important to a select few users that choose to buy Apple. When it comes to notebook computers, case and tactile feel matters even more.

    And in the end it is the integrated package that matters as well. User experience and expectation is well managed from the moment you receive the box, from opening it, to using the computer (hardware part) to using the OS.

    Just providing OS X for users to buy and install on whatever hardware would not lead to comparable or even similar user experience. But if you ship your OS on your designed hardware you know that every user has the minimum accepted standard and same experience as others. This is why Apple leads the user satisfaction surveys.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30, 2009 @11:29AM (#28149605)

    Wrong. Current sales offerings only provide a half dozen configurations that OSX supports, but OSX Leopard still supports G4 systems (and will unofficially run on G3 systems), and all the configurations from then until now. While the number of officially supported hardware pieces is smaller than Windows, the range is no less. Multiple CPU architectures, GPUs from 3 major vendors, RAM of all sorts, wireless from Atheros, Broadcom, and probably others, support for most USB devices and anyone else who will write a driver. Add in the knowledge gained from the OSX86 community and it supports damn near everything else outside of weird proprietary 3rd party stuff that Windows or Linux couldn't support without that manufacturer's help either.

    That's no less diverse than other OSs, and better than Windows in most cases.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @11:29AM (#28149615) Homepage

    In a word? YES!

    There are probably more, but there are two lines of products that come to mind when I think of this stupid phenomenon. People think they can buy something that, to them represents a very cool cultural group, and instamatically become a member of a club or group. Those to brands are Apple and Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson, once the nearly exclusive domain of motorcycle gangsters is now the toy of the rich boy who wished he could be a "bad boy" and may even get a tattoo with the Harley Davidson logo at some point. These are people who have their Harleys shipped to Sturgess to attend the rally instead of riding there themselves (which is kind of the point!).

    The Apple brand gives people the impression that if they use an Apple, life will be more simple and they will instantly become happier and cooler too. And they tend to forgive the fact that running Apple means there is a very long list of things they can't do either because the app exists only for Windows or because Apple doesn't approve of it which is something of a puzzle to me but I guess buying into an image calls for some sacrifice to maintain that image... rather like all the trouble women go through with their hair and make-up.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by burris ( 122191 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @11:46AM (#28149737)

    Cuz you can't get a 9" laptop with 2 gigs of ram, an 8 gig ssd, and wifi that runs OSX for $300 from Apple.

    You can, however, get one from Dell and a number of other manufacturers. Let's compare the missing features between the $300 Dell Mini9 I gave my GF for her birthday with what Apple is offering:

    Dell Mini 9: two finger scrolling (fixed in next DellEFI update)

    Apple $300 netbook: has no features because it doesn't exist!

    So it turns out that Dell's $300 laptop running Mac OSX offers a lot more functionality than Apple's $300 laptop. It's not even like Apple is offering a $400 or $500 laptop. No the cheapest laptop is $1000.

    Unfair comparison? If my choices were limited to Apple laptops then I just couldn't get my GF a mac laptop for her birthday. She is quite grateful that the Dell Mini 9 is available. She said she would feel horrible if I spent over a $1000 on her present, plus it would be larger and heavier. She doesn't want a bigger and heavier laptop with "power" she doesn't need.

    Conveniently, the Mac OS retail box comes with Apple stickers to cover up the Dell logo.

    *found out they stopped making the mini 9 in the last month or two but my argument still holds

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 30, 2009 @11:53AM (#28149789) Journal

    Because Apple for years have been ignoring a very BIG market for Macs: Those that want a midrange Apple desktop. There are quite a few out there that would like a Mac tower that has upgrade potential that can't afford to bend over and grab their ankles like you do with the Mac Pro line. Frankly the Mac Pro line is extreme overkill to most folks who just want an Apple tower with some upgrade slots, which they really haven't had an affordable option in that area in many years.

    So to answer your question it is the same reason a Grey market pops up in any area. There are those that want a product, the ones in charge of that market refuse to give it to them, someone see a potential for profit, and therefor enters and creates a place for these under served customers to spend their money. It is about pure classical supply and demand, nothing more. Apple refuses to supply what many customers want, so someone else comes in to fill that demand. if Apple really wanted to get rid of this market it couldn't be more simple. Just give the customer what they want. The fact that companies keep entering this market and have no trouble finding customers simply proves the demand is there.

    So before the Apple fans start screaming "Apple ripoff" just remember: This market wouldn't exist if Apple would give the customers a midrange line, which they have been asking for over and over again for many many years.

  • by Decameron81 ( 628548 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @12:04PM (#28149883)

    Apple's belief that they should be a hardware company (as they were when they started) is what keeps their share of the market from growing. If they want to grow (maybe they don't really want to, and that's okay too) then they are going to have to change. It seems to ancient idea now when hardware (including their own) has become commodity to such an extent.

    Apple's main asset is their image. They would damage it if they didn't control it like they do by carefully selecting all hardware and software.

    They are not here to fight Microsoft or Windows... they're here to bring us a new business model based on getting tech gadgets that simply do the job, and do it right. Releasing their OS for all hardware would bring in more gold in the short run, but would probably change their image and turn them into just another software vendor.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @12:05PM (#28149895) Journal

    Because Apple for years have been ignoring a very BIG market for Macs: Those that want a midrange Apple desktop

    Asserting it, even in capitals, does not make it true. Desktops, of any kind, now make up around 40% of total computer sales. Laptop sales passed desktops for Macs a few years back, and for the industry as a whole over a year ago. The only people who want a midrange desktop, as opposed to something like a Mac Mini or an iMac, are those that want to be able to upgrade their hardware, but don't want to pay the premium for something like the Mac Pro. Not only is this not a huge market, it is an incredibly unprofitable market to be in, with the lowest margins of any computer market segment.

  • by mr_matticus ( 928346 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @12:11PM (#28149943)

    maybe they don't really want to, and that's okay too

    Ding ding ding!

    Apple wants to make good products that they're excited about, and they want to make money doing it. They do not seek, and never have sought, to supplant Dell or Microsoft.

    They like their closed ecosystem. They're fully aware of the limitations it entails in terms of lineup gaps, careful control of user experience and product design, and zealous control of their brand. They're all deliberate choices to fit within a particular philosophy, made in full recognition of the obvious downsides. But every time there's an Apple story, someone has to whine about how it's not China Hardware Emporium running KDE with extra configuration panels. The same people will turn around the next day to defend common user complaints about Linux platforms by saying "you just don't get it".

    Well, they just don't get Apple. You don't have to like Apple; you don't have to buy Apple. Running around and thinking that the ultimate goal of any given corporation is a monopoly is the kind of thinking that even a first semester economics student is forced to leave behind. What's optimal in the aggregate is not necessarily maximizing every single variable one at a time.

    Why should they cut prices, and the resulting features and standards along with profits, to grow their market share? They have a giant pile of cash, and apart from being sued for unlawful trade practices, they could sell all of their machines at a loss and really blow their competitors away. But why would they? Price consumers aren't loyalty consumers. Why fight a war with 1000 strangers with clamped-shut wallets when you can get 100 people who will likely be repeat customers (while still making money, and more importantly, making the products you want to make)? I'm an investor in a local bakery--I'd rather them keep consistent quality, artisan craftsmanship, and prices relatively high (and catering to a smaller audience) than try to fight Safeway and its industrial-scale suppliers for supplying white bread and hamburger buns to the masses. Safeway has its place, and people who like getting white bread and hamburger buns as cheaply as possible can do that. Not everyone has to. Market share and price aren't the only two metrics for comparison, and yet everyone seems to insist on them to prolong a pointless flamewar, with "if Apple were Microsoft-sized, they wouldn't be able to get away with x". Yes, and if the atmosphere were methane, we'd all suffocate. Neglecting that condition x would have to be resolved in order to grow to Microsoft's size in the first place is usually the first flaw.

    They don't compete in certain markets or at the bottom end of the price scale because they neither need to nor want to. That means there is an upper limit to their market share, and their strategy also turns off some people, but so be it. They were never the desirable kind of customer anyway for a company like Apple. They might be the target customer for a different kind of company. It all works out in the end.

  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @12:13PM (#28149957)

    "But if Apple dominated the OS market they could control the hardware market too. If Apple got every PC user hooked to OS X as much as every Mac fanboy, Apple could switch architectures and take the hardware market with it...."

    Did I miss something? Didn't Apple switch over to Intel in 2006?

    Every time I read about a CEO being paid millions, I think 'wow, there have to be lots of people out there who could do the job just as well for a lot less'. Then I read Slashdot comments and wonder if I am mistaken. A large percentage of Slashdotters seem to be of the opinion that if they were in charge of Apple, they would gleefully join in that race to the bottom that is PC manufacturing.

  • by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @12:21PM (#28150015)
    What in the hell are you smoking?

    locking high-end MP3 players to their software

    For the most part, yes, but there are ways to use iPods with other software or even custom firmware. Apple wont sue you for it. Don't like it? There are plenty of other MP3 players out there.

    locking their software to their operating system

    This is the stupidest fucking argument I've seen. So Apple should port all of their software to other platforms? On that note, I want Microsoft Movie Maker for Mac, dammit!

    locking their operating system to their hardware

    Yes, they do. IBM had a lock of Microsoft software until they were reverse-engineered. If Apple gets big enough, this will have to change one way or another.

    locking their high-end MP3 players to their hardware (firewire only)

    Wow, this just dethroned the above as the stupidest fucking argument I've seen. For one, iPods have been able to sync with USB since the third gen iPods and haven't had Firewire capability at all (except to charge) since the video iPods came out. For two, PCs could use Firewire too, ya know. Apple is restricting iPods to their hardware by making it use an interface that can be found on Macs and PCs? What a crock.

    locking their phone to their software which is tied to certain operating systems

    Those OSes comprise at least 98% of the overall market. Yep, what a horribly monopolistic practice. Where's the iTunes port for Amiga, dammit?

    Fortunately there is no way their EULA will be found legally binding and so while they can make it hard for mac-cloners (no hw support, trademarks, no license to sell os X, etc), they cant stop them.

    Maybe, maybe not. As we've seen with Psystar, Apple doesn't have to win the case. They have vats of money to throw at lawyers until the other side folds up. If the EULA is going to be overturned, it's going to need someone with a lot of money that can afford a long, drawn-out court battle.

  • by sandbenders ( 301132 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @01:05PM (#28150339) Homepage
    It might be that they mean "Designed by Apple in California" and not "Designed by Apple in Shanghai". I love California even less than most people, but the bottom line is, jobs (small "j") in California are jobs in the USA.

    On the original topic, I paid a premium for my Mac, knowing that I could get similar specs for cheaper on a PC, for two reasons. I prefer OS X, and I enjoy the fact that the hardware and software, including a number of included, free applications, are pre-integrated for me and function as a cohesive whole. I'm pretty nerdy, I could set up an easy workflow for my tasks on a PC or other OS given enough time, but I don't want to spend the time. So I spent the money.

    It's not that one is inherently better than the other, it's that they are different value propositions. Certainly they have different strengths and weaknesses, and I would have thought that this community, if not the general public, would understand this by now.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ToasterMonkey ( 467067 ) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @01:26PM (#28150483) Homepage

    Um, in case Apple has confused you, a Mac is made of commodity hardware. Other then perhaps EFI, nothing about the computer is a Mac, a Mac is simply a configuration of a PC installed with OS X by default.

    Please mod this garbage down. You can easily say pre-Intel Macs were made of commodity hardware also, and the argument would just boil down to "is a PowerPC processor a commodity?" What the hell does that matter? That is the among the LAST parts anyone would be considering when talking of consumer level OS/hardware integration. We all know Apple doesn't manufacture hard drives, DIMMs, and processors. Thanks for the info anyway.

    Sure, OS X was designed with only one or two configurations for a Mac but with third party drivers its possible to extend it to almost any modern configuration in existence. There is nothing special about a Mac.

    So, how would you describe your level of experience with Apple hardware? Or are you repeating what you've learned on /.? Please, for the love of GOD, don't repeat stuff you heard on /., ON /., and feel good about your +5 informative. There is so much misinformation here, it's retarded.

    Before anyone starts, I'm not a fucking fanboy. There is a LOT to hardware/software integration other than "has drivers", and that goes for all PC's, electronics, etc. Maybe that's the Linux definition of 'integration', 'works at some level'. Ohhh, no I didn't. Yes I did.

  • Apple will sue them until they file for bankruptcy like they did Pystar.

    If you are trying to sell Hackintosh systems, Apple will sue you to protect their territory.

    Apple does not want Mac Clones because last time they allowed Mac Clones they cut into Apple's own sales. Apple makes most of its profits by selling hardware with software already installed on it. Cheaper Mac Clones will cut into hardware sales.

    If you want to distinguish yourself sell Linux pre-installed on PC systems, even AROS or HaikuOS pre-installed on systems, some people don't want to install their own OS and want a pre-installed system. Make your money selling them tech support and developing software for Linux, AROS, and HaikuOS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30, 2009 @07:08PM (#28153481)
    Like, have you moved out of the 60's to the 21th century, or are the beatles still the hot thing?

    Like, how many people can actually put hard drives in thier computers. Like, in high school, there is a course for that and they spend a week just getting the computer open. Most people just go to the store and pay $100 to have it done, which is why most people just buy a new computer.

    Or use, you know, the modern solution. A fast cable, like firewire 800, which, coincidentally, is on the iMac. Two terrabytes for $30, which is not as cheap as bare drives, but cheaper than paying to install. I myself have moved into the 21st century and have expanded with multiple dvd drivers, over a terabyte of hard disk space, what ever I want. With no limitation of the original case design.

    Of course it does not look as nice as everything being in case, but nobody said we were buying computers on looks.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.