Apple Called: It Wants Its 3G MacBook Pro Back



Remember that cool MacBook Pro with built-in 3G that one lucky surfer picked up on Craigslist? It got a lot of attention a couple weeks ago when it was listed on eBay, with bids in excess of $70,000. Unfortunately for its owner, Apple had the listing removed, and now it wants the machine back.

The machine is a 2007 MacBook Pro, but it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, thanks to that built-in antenna and SIM card slot. Carl Frega originally purchased it on Craigslist from someone who claimed to be an ex-Apple employee, but at the time the machine wasn’t working. Frega repaired it himself and then attempted to sell it on.

Before it ended up on eBay, Frega listed the machine on Cragslist again and successfully sold it. The machine’s new owner took it to an Apple retail store to be looked at by the Genius Bar, citing “random issues,” but didn’t quite get the response they were expecting.

Apple’s Genius refused to repair the machine because of the plethora of third-party components that appears inside it. Here’s what Apple wrote on the invoice:

Opened machine to observe that nearly every internal part was 3rd party; main logic board, optical drive, display, hard drive, top case, and others. Machine number (W8707003Y53) is also not recognized as a valid number.

Proposed Resolution: Denied services; machine has been modified by unauthorized providers beyond repair.

Because Apple refused to repair it, the machine’s new owner believed that Frega had sold them a fake and decided to take him to a small claims court. Frega ended up refunding the buyer $740 and taking back the MacBook Pro.

However, it seems he may not have it for much longer. Thanks to the publicity surrounding the device in recent weeks, Frega got a phone call from the Cupertino camp to say that Apple wants the machine back.

[via MacRumors]

  • JoViKe

    Translation: Apple hopes to discover which ex-employee sold it.

  • NickBob

    Do they have standing to demand it back? Serial number was unrecognized at the Apple Store, if it was stolen they would have mentioned it. Their beef is with whichever employee sold it, which likely violated terms, but one would think that their supervisors ought to have asked for it back by now, so it’s abandoned property. He ought to ask for the amount of the last bid plus 10%. 

  • gareth edwards

    Number not recognised because it would not be valid inventory.
    As for asking for it back – they will be within their rights as it was Apple property and as such stolen property can be recovered and those holding it could be done for handling stolen goods.

  • Tim Red Beard

    There would be no way I would give this back without getting a lawyer first.  There is money to be made here and the owner hopefully knows this.  Just cause it’s the big A doesn’t mean he “has” to give it back.  I would retain the services of a lawyer see what my options are and then we can go into negotiations from there.

  • person287

    Anybody really surprised that Apple wants the property it had stolen from it back?And by the way I know he didn’t steal it, but somebody must’ve to get it out.

  • person287

    It’s stolen property. There’s nothing you can argue that it isn’t. It was taken from apple without there permission, so it’s stolen, so they have to give it back. End of.

  • person287

    It’s stolen property. There’s nothing you can argue that it isn’t. It was taken from apple without there permission, so it’s stolen, so they have to give it back. End of.

  • Matt

    I would love to manage about 9 accounts.  Between checking/savings/loans/retirement/investments…they add up quickly!

  • CharliK

    So much about this is fishy. The Genius Bar report (which wouldn’t be that hard to fake with a scanner and a copy of photoshop) seems a tad off in terms of how things were filled in. The pulling of the auction, allegedly by Apple, could just as easily be done at the request of the seller if he/she suspected that some of the bids were frauds

    This Frega guy is the source for pretty much all the info and just as easily could be going after a bit of fame because he got chomped and bought something thinking he was getting this awesome prototype but what he got was a non working mod job that is nothing

  • randall

    Lol, same argument twice? But I don’t necessarily agree. Can Apple prove it was solen? If they’re arguing it is all third party hardware, then they couldn’t really have any ownership of it… I think Frega should just hold on to the thing as long as he can until Apple shows up on his doorstep demanding it then take them to court.

  • person287

    It’s a prototype manufactured, assembled and paid for by apple, so it’s stolen.