Is Mac Cloner PearC Flouting Apple's EULA in E.U.?

Earlier this week Macworld ran a story on German Apple Mac clone-maker PearC's latest offer, iLife, iWork & Mac OS X for €49 ($65).

Typically the story ignited heated debate amongst Macworld readers; opinion divided between those appalled by the company's apparent flouting of Apple's end-user license agreements and those who believe PearC is doing nothing wrong under European law.

The company, like Psystar in the US, with whom Apple is currently involved in an ongoing court battle, sells Mac clones starting at around £660. Psystar, run by HyperMegaNet, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, currently ships to 23 destinations including the UK via delivery firm DHL.

PearC clearly has a customer base beyond Germany's borders in mind, the company's Web site now has the option of viewing in English and a detailed FAQ aims to put minds at ease over the legitimacy of their computers.

Following our story, PearC representatives contacted Macworld to clarify points raised by the report. Firstly HyperMegaNet spokesman Dirk Blößl got in touch to insist PearC are doing nothing wrong and insisting the company did not sell illegal copies of Mac software. "We buy our licenses at a well-known German software distributor," Blößl said.

Later Jan Spitzmacher, responsible PearC's PR, agreed to answer Macworld's questions:

Q. Firstly why would anyone choose a PearC Mac clone over an Apple Mac?

"The PearC offers a very good performance at a very fair price. You have an extensible case; where you can change hard drives, memory, add expansion cards. Things you can't do in a Mac mini or iMac. The Mac Pro is too expensive for most people."

Q. When you started selling Mac OS X based computers what response did you expect from Apple, especially after the US Psystar court proceedings?

"We did not really expect a special response. We demand [wait] on any response from Apple, but there has nothing come yet. But, the legal situation inside the European Union is very different to the one, Psystar, has in the US."

Q. Has Apple been in touch with you?

"No, not at all."

Q. If and when they do, what will be your response?

"Difficult question, because we currently do not know, what comes from Apple. So, I can't tell you right now."

Q. Does a PearC computer come with the Mac OS X and software installed, on disc, or both?

"It comes with both per default. We preinstall Mac OS X and put an original Mac OS X Retail DVD - currently version 10.5.6 - in the package. It is not an illegal copy. Because we preinstall Mac OS X, we can't sell the PearC's without a license. It's included in the default price. There is no chance to check, if the customer really has a license itself."

Q. And just to clarify does iLife and iWork come on pre-installed, on a disc, or both?

"They just come on disk. If you order the Mac Box Set, we do not deliver a Mac OS X disk, because it's in the Mac Box Set. This is why, we can offer it for €49, towards the normal retail version."

Q. And how can you sell the Mac Box Set at a saving of €110 and still make a profit?

"As I said above, the retail DVD comes normally with the PearC. So, the price is €169 - €129.

Because of that calculation, you can get the Mac Box Set for an upcharge of only €49 when buying a PearC."

Q. Many Mac users would like to see a Mac netbook, do you have any plans for one or a MacBook clone?

"We are planning a mobile version of our PearC's, but as they have to have very special hardware, it's very hard to find a notebook on the market which works perfectly with Mac OS X. Some work, but not well and truly. This is not what we want to sell, all components have to work."

This story, "Is Mac Cloner PearC Flouting Apple's EULA in E.U.?" was originally published by Macworld U.K..

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