Apple Keeps Losing Things, Negotiating Return of 3G Prototype MacBook
Apple is notorious for their ability to shroud future products in mystery. Even when a new iPhone announcement is imminent, there is so much misinformation being thrown about the predictive process becomes a guessing game.
This is why it is utterly sweet when the outside world gets a look-see at Apple's prototypes. The other day we got a little taste when a 2007 15" MacBook Pro with a built in 3G antenna and sim-card slot surfaced on eBay.
Owner Carl Frega, who had a friend list the item, saw bids reach $70,000 for the peculiar machine before Apple successfully had the listing pulled. Frega claims to have purchased the prototype from a former Apple engineer via Craigslist. Frega after the unsuccessful eBay fiasco was able to sell the machine via his old pal Craigslist. But, there was catch. The new owner took the laptop to a genius bar where it was denied service (they had no idea what to do with the machine). The new owner then turned around and sued Frega for selling him a fake MacBook and Frega was forced to pay back the $740 he gained from the sale, and once again found himself the owner of the device. I'm not exactly sure what the Judge's ruling was, especially considering the MacBook is in fact a real piece of Apple hardware. The trouble Apple has gone to procure the unit should be proof enough of that.
It is unclear how or if Apple will compensate Frega for the prototype. It isn't like the man broke into Apple's laboratories and stole the device. I can't imagine how hard that would even be. Whatever the outcome, the saga of the prototype-that-could will live on in the annals of Internet history for millennia. Or until tomorrow. When the sun comes up.
Source: Apple Insider