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View Full Version : Possibly a prototype/fake MacBook Air? Update! It has a Core i3!




hackerwayne
Mar 13, 2013, 02:27 PM
Umm.. Today i received a MacBook Air from a customer, he said the MBA can't power on and wanted to sell it as parts. So i bought the laptop from him. I tried to plug the MagSafe in and attempted to boot it, it shows no sign of life. MagSafe shows orange. Upon inspection, i see nothing odd about this MacBook, thinking that its a 2010 model since it doesn't have the backlit button. But then once i opened up the bottom case, i was shocked to find the board wasn't a C2D board, it has a thunderbolt controller on it and the SSD is 256GB, the battery is damaged/bloated. When i dig deeper, i found that the back panel has no serial number, and EMC number is left blank. Im in the process of replacing the battery. Ill update with pictures later. The logic board is black in color.

UPDATE!!!!!

I MANAGE TO START THE MACBOOK AIR WITH A REPLACEMENT BATTERY AND AFTER A SMC UPDATE & SMC RESET!
However, the original SSD seems to be dead. EFI showing can't find boot drive, and i can't boot ML installer, don't know why. It just showed a prohibited sign, and so i replaced it with another SSD(that has ML already on it) I WAS NOT ABLE TO BOOT IT DIRECTLY, it shows a prohibited sign, so i had to remove PlatformSupport.plist (like my hack guide) to get it to boot. Apparently, the board ID wasn't on the platformsupport.plist.

Booted it up. and wtf?! It has a i3 1.5GHz, never seen it on a Air before, and has NO SERIAL NUMBER. See pictures.

The Backlit keyboard looks crappy comparing to a standard 2011 MacBook Air. Again, see the pictures.

About This Mac.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-3q1BXbR6mO0/UUDj_Hh41GI/AAAAAAAAApM/Q5zEhS9GEkI/s800/IMG_1549.JPG

Screenshot https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-FsFL8Npw6oM/UUDkZVtiTtI/AAAAAAAAApc/N3Y4JNpJByY/s800/Screen%2520Shot%25202013-03-13%2520at%25201.40.44%2520PM.png

Backlit keyboard compared to standard 2011 MacBook Air.
Standard one on the left, unknown one on the right.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-_YQ2CVnpXxI/UUDjd2oOVAI/AAAAAAAAAoA/J_Zx2j0gcA4/s800/IMG_1542.JPG

Different angle showing the backlit keyboard. I have NO way of adjusting the backlit, it doesn't have the backlit keys. I turned off the lights to take this picture.

Close up on the keyboard, looks similar to the one on the 2010 MacBook Air, except this has backlit.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cWxxp7EZcfw/UUDjg-JtnXI/AAAAAAAAAow/CtEqyifWZN0/s800/IMG_1546.JPG

Apparently it shows its a Core i3 1.5GHz. I don't think that processor was ever used on a standard 13" MacBook Air. Only i5 or i7.

UPDATE! March 14 2013.

I took the board out for inspection, at first glance it look similar to a 2011 i5 MacBook Air, but then at close examinations, some of the connectors are not exactly the same. Keyboard flex connector is larger then a normal i5 one.

No serial number on the inside too.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-np5hHyXNjHg/UUIzRwmmTxI/AAAAAAAAAqY/vU_yosvKn-w/s800/IMG_1550.JPG

Motherboard pictures. (I haven't put back all the screws yet)
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ktFXBDtF-GY/UUIy-NJX5tI/AAAAAAAAAqM/ipwRZfVc8JU/s640/IMG_1551.JPG



Mrbobb
Mar 13, 2013, 03:40 PM
Or maybe a Chinese Fake!

hackerwayne
Mar 13, 2013, 03:49 PM
Or maybe a Chinese Fake!

It runs OSX natively, has EFI. But hard to say.

sundragon
Mar 13, 2013, 04:24 PM
There's something wrong with this.

Your F4 Key is not standard on the 2011-2012 MBA (I'm typing on it).

hackerwayne
Mar 13, 2013, 04:43 PM
There's something wrong with this.

Your F4 Key is not standard on the 2011-2012 MBA (I'm typing on it).

It doesn't have the backlit control keys too. I can't control the backlit. It also has a "Eject" key.

jmoore5196
Mar 13, 2013, 05:03 PM
Given your location, I'd say its more likely to be a Chinese knockoff than a prototype. The quality issues you see do not "ring true" for a genuine Apple product ... especially one as critical to Apple's laptop line than the 2010-generation MBA.

mike5411
Mar 13, 2013, 05:20 PM
When you had the machine open, what color was the logic board? Was it green or red?

Brian Y
Mar 13, 2013, 05:30 PM
To pour some water on it - it's identifying itself as a 4,2 which is a mid 2011 MacBook Air. By that time, the keyboard would have had brightness controls.

Also, it has a 1.5GHz i3 with Intel HD 3000 graphics, this can be one of two chips:

- i3-2375M (launched Q1 '13)
- i3-2377M (launched Q2 '12)

Which would make it impossible/impractical to be a prototype. If you have a closeup photo of the MLB we can check it.

iMacC2D
Mar 13, 2013, 06:37 PM
Has the Serial Number been blanked out from the screenshots, or does it actually not have a serial number? If it does have one, I may be able to check whether it validates as a recognised serial and if it has any listed specs or details at the time of manufacture. (I'm an Apple Repairer by trade, but not working for Apple.)

EDIT: Oh, right. No serial number. I'm taking a quick glance at this over lunch so I missed that part.

If you managed to install Mac OS X with no other modification than to remove or tweak PlatformSupport.plist, I'd be inclined to think it's a genuine Apple board at this stage.

A photo of the board may also be useful in identification. A screenshot of the "Memory" section of System Profiler may also be useful in checking whether the on-board RAM identifies as Apple supplied memory.

If I can be of assistance just let me know.

Mrbobb
Mar 13, 2013, 07:05 PM
Backlit keyb except u can't see see what key is what. :D

dbroncos78087
Mar 13, 2013, 10:09 PM
Was the i3 available as an "upgrade" when they had the dual core?

I don't know enough to say they weren't but it might have been an upgrade at the time.

But it is odd that yours doesn't show a serial number is very suspicious.

shenan1982
Mar 13, 2013, 11:57 PM
It's from Malaysia, enough said.... (Fake)

raniel
Mar 14, 2013, 12:28 AM
Made in china. haha

iMacC2D
Mar 14, 2013, 12:44 AM
It's from Malaysia, enough said.... (Fake)

Then it's a very good fake. If what the OP has stated is correct, it booted into Mac OS X once the board identifier check was stripped out (OS X Mountain Lion won't boot on a board it won't recognise, such as an EVT/DVT board or earlier Intel - this is a common solution), with full driver support for WiFi, Bluetooth, the Intel HD 3000 graphics accelerator... all visible and detected as present and functional in the screenshot.

Not suggesting it isn't a fake unit, but I would like to see more before drawing a conclusion. At the moment, it's impossible to be sure either way. Perhaps it's an unusual hybrid of Apple and non-Apple components. Who knows.

It's rare for pre-production units to turn up outside of the US, but it's by no means impossible. The curious side of me is intrigued.

hackerwayne
Mar 14, 2013, 01:10 AM
Has the Serial Number been blanked out from the screenshots, or does it actually not have a serial number? If it does have one, I may be able to check whether it validates as a recognised serial and if it has any listed specs or details at the time of manufacture. (I'm an Apple Repairer by trade, but not working for Apple.)

EDIT: Oh, right. No serial number. I'm taking a quick glance at this over lunch so I missed that part.

If you managed to install Mac OS X with no other modification than to remove or tweak PlatformSupport.plist, I'd be inclined to think it's a genuine Apple board at this stage.

A photo of the board may also be useful in identification. A screenshot of the "Memory" section of System Profiler may also be useful in checking whether the on-board RAM identifies as Apple supplied memory.

If I can be of assistance just let me know.

Heres the memory section of System Profiler
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yZN2HOZ30i4/UUFoTAJIdFI/AAAAAAAAAps/4etIb485MzU/s800/Screen%2520Shot%25202013-03-13%2520at%252011.03.32%2520PM.png

----------

It's from Malaysia, enough said.... (Fake)

Title changed. Im in the process of contacting the previous owner asking him where this this thing come from.

----------

When you had the machine open, what color was the logic board? Was it green or red?

Board is black. Ill take some pics now

Brian Y
Mar 14, 2013, 12:13 PM
Board is black. Ill take some pics now

If the board is black (or very dark grey/green) - then it isn't a prototype. Apple's prototype boards are red.

Also, that RAM is identified as being made by Samsung. I believe (may be wrong since I'm going by experience here), I've never seen Apple use any soldered-on ram that wasn't Hynix.

hackerwayne
Mar 14, 2013, 12:38 PM
Update. Ive taken the motherboard out to inspect. It looks fairly similar comparing to 2011 i5 model, except a few connectors are not the same

mike5411
Mar 14, 2013, 02:16 PM
Heres the memory section of System Profiler
Image (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yZN2HOZ30i4/UUFoTAJIdFI/AAAAAAAAAps/4etIb485MzU/s800/Screen%2520Shot%25202013-03-13%2520at%252011.03.32%2520PM.png)

----------



Title changed. Im in the process of contacting the previous owner asking him where this this thing come from.

----------



Board is black. Ill take some pics now

Very interesting that the board is black (or maybe a very dark green?). Typically prototypes have red logic boards from Apple. However, maybe this is a very very late prototype that Apple actually cut at the last minute?

hackerwayne
Mar 14, 2013, 03:36 PM
Very interesting that the board is black (or maybe a very dark green?). Typically prototypes have red logic boards from Apple. However, maybe this is a very very late prototype that Apple actually cut at the last minute?

See pictures. I posted the board pics

----------

If the board is black (or very dark grey/green) - then it isn't a prototype. Apple's prototype boards are red.

Also, that RAM is identified as being made by Samsung. I believe (may be wrong since I'm going by experience here), I've never seen Apple use any soldered-on ram that wasn't Hynix.

See board pic

mike5411
Mar 14, 2013, 07:09 PM
Does it have USB 2.0 or 3.0?

laserbeam273
Mar 15, 2013, 12:21 AM
When you're done inspecting, list it on eBay as a rare prototype! Starting bid $5,000!

hackerwayne
Mar 15, 2013, 10:06 AM
Does it have USB 2.0 or 3.0?

Forgot to mention it has USB 3 but its MagSafe 1

----------

To pour some water on it - it's identifying itself as a 4,2 which is a mid 2011 MacBook Air. By that time, the keyboard would have had brightness controls.

Also, it has a 1.5GHz i3 with Intel HD 3000 graphics, this can be one of two chips:

- i3-2375M (launched Q1 '13)
- i3-2377M (launched Q2 '12)

Which would make it impossible/impractical to be a prototype. If you have a closeup photo of the MLB we can check it.

It has USB 3.0. 2011 MBA doesn't have that

mike5411
Mar 15, 2013, 11:01 AM
Forgot to mention it has USB 3 but its MagSafe 1

----------



It has USB 3.0. 2011 MBA doesn't have that

I had a feeling it was going to be USB 3.0. Although the logic board isn't red, I am still thinking this is a prototype in a 2010 shell. Very interesting. Have you heard anything back from the seller regarding where they acquired this machine?

hackerwayne
Mar 15, 2013, 12:03 PM
I had a feeling it was going to be USB 3.0. Although the logic board isn't red, I am still thinking this is a prototype in a 2010 shell. Very interesting. Have you heard anything back from the seller regarding where they acquired this machine?

At first when i tried to contact him, I asked him where did he get this unit, was it a fake or what. he picked up and said he don't know much history about this unit, he got it from a friend for cheap, then he said he got another Air so wasn't interested in fixing this unit. Now when i tried to contact him, he's unreachable. Quite suspicious.

thadoggfather
Mar 15, 2013, 12:24 PM
Wouldn't it be a tremendous amount of effort and talent to make a 'fake MBA'?

'fake iPhones' are very easily distinguishable from the real deal.

Still, maybe just maybe he stopped replying because aren't there legal implications involved with selling a prototype?

Like I dunno, the whole iPhone 4 at the bar sold to a jouranlist-type fiasco?

Even though this is well beyond the announcement of the 2010 MBA re-design and didn't become the end all leak.

hackerwayne
Mar 15, 2013, 12:33 PM
Wouldn't it be a tremendous amount of effort and talent to make a 'fake MBA'?

'fake iPhones' are very easily distinguishable from the real deal.

Still, maybe just maybe he stopped replying because aren't there legal implications involved with selling a prototype?

Like I dunno, the whole iPhone 4 at the bar sold to a jouranlist-type fiasco?

Even though this is well beyond the announcement of the 2010 MBA re-design and didn't become the end all leak.

Thats what i though. But what am i suppose to do with this unit now?

thadoggfather
Mar 15, 2013, 01:06 PM
Yeah that's a tough one.

If you can't get a refund through the person who sold it to you, and were anticipating a non-questionable/non-potentially prototype, maybe try listing it here/on eBay just 'as is' and referring to this thread with really the bottom line of:
:confused::confused: who knows?

Not sure if that's against the mod rules or not...

if you really want clarity, maybe contact Apple directly? Not sure they'd compensate you though to receive it back.

AlphaDogg
Mar 15, 2013, 09:22 PM
Alright, I'm interested.



Maybe someone super skilled in heatgun soldering removed the original CPU and soldered on the i3 as a fix for a defective processor? And while it was open, added a backlight to the keyboard?

2010 MacBook Airs had silver lettering on the keys, not opaque white. The opaque white letters on other models allow light to pass through, while silver does not. This is either a really good fake or genuine Apple. OP, keep us updated!

thadoggfather
Mar 15, 2013, 09:48 PM
You can't solder an i3 chip to a c2d board if its 2010.

That's sweet you have USB 3.0 :D my 2011 does not.

But I still love it

Senseotech
Mar 15, 2013, 11:22 PM
Whats weird to me is that its an i3 with HD3000 graphics, which means a Sandy Bridge CPU, but since it has native USB3 support, the chipset has to be Ivy Bridge, as Sandy Bridge lacked a chipset with an Intel-branded USB3 controller.

Mac_Max
Mar 16, 2013, 12:27 AM
Whats weird to me is that its an i3 with HD3000 graphics, which means a Sandy Bridge CPU, but since it has native USB3 support, the chipset has to be Ivy Bridge, as Sandy Bridge lacked a chipset with an Intel-branded USB3 controller.

Not true. The current USB 3.0 equipped Platform Controller Hubs work with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors. It just wouldn't make any sense to release a new product with a Sandy Bridge CPU and a current gen PCH. For platform validation it's not a big deal since Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors are mechanically and electrically compatible.

Intel could have had made available samples of the new PCH before samples of Ivy Bridge CPUs.

Senseotech
Mar 16, 2013, 12:55 AM
Not true. The current USB 3.0 equipped Platform Controller Hubs work with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors. It just wouldn't make any sense to release a new product with a Sandy Bridge CPU and a current gen PCH. For platform validation it's not a big deal since Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors are mechanically and electrically compatible.

Intel could have had made available samples of the new PCH before samples of Ivy Bridge CPUs.

That's exactly what I was getting at; why on earth would they utilize a last-gen processor with a current-gen chipset? If intel gave them samples of an newer chipset, why not give them samples of the newer CPU architecture as well?

PinoyAko
Mar 16, 2013, 08:59 AM
This is a real "Hackintosh".

coachingguy
Mar 16, 2013, 09:01 AM
I'm posting because this is a great story. OP, please make sure to keep the assembled updated.

Good Luck!

Coachingguy

Acorn
Mar 16, 2013, 09:03 AM
Honestly I would ask apple directly and find out if it is a prototype just so you don't get sued or fined or something. Might be a good idea anyway apple may want to know about this type of knockoff if that happens to be what it is.

Consultant
Mar 16, 2013, 10:43 AM
1. There are some MBA knockoff hackintoshs on the market. So, a shady shop can steal the real internals, sell it else where, and put in Hackintosh mobo and parts. i3 is typically used in cheap Hackintosh laptops. It might have been "modified" later than the stated product date so it's easier to mask performance issues with perceived age.

I'm assuming it's in a genuine MBA body? Hard to fake that.

2. Prototype, but doesn't have different board look. But as mentioned, the processor doesn't match. But the seller's avoidance is strange.



Honestly I would ask apple directly and find out if it is a prototype just so you don't get sued or fined or something. Might be a good idea anyway apple may want to know about this type of knockoff if that happens to be what it is.

Read the thread. OP said the person who sold it doesn't know and is now unreachable.

AQUADock
Mar 16, 2013, 10:51 AM
Im sure this is a prototype apple as far as i know has never put an i3 in a laptop. Stuff like this gets leaked out of apple every now and then.

hackerwayne
Mar 16, 2013, 11:05 AM
[/COLOR]1. There are some MBA knockoff hackintoshs on the market. So, a shady shop can steal the real internals, sell it else where, and put in Hackintosh mobo and parts. i3 is typically used in cheap Hackintosh laptops. It might have been "modified" later than the stated product date so it's easier to mask performance issues with perceived age.

I'm assuming it's in a genuine MBA body? Hard to fake that.

2. Prototype, but doesn't have different board look. But as mentioned, the processor doesn't match. But the seller's avoidance is strange.





Read the thread. OP said the person who sold it doesn't know and is now unreachable.

Regarding on #1, it looks very very much like the real thing, layout, connectors location, various IC location. Just some connectors different. It does has Apple EFI, not BIOS like normal PCs. To make a fake MBA and copy the exact same board layout as Apple and running Apple EFI seems to be impossible. I can say i have failed to contact the previous owner. Hes not responding to my texts, nor answering my calls. Should i send it to Apple? If its a prototype, will they confiscate my unit?

----------

This is a real "Hackintosh".

Hackintosh uses BIOS, this one has Apple EFI on it. I can apply EFI update, do SMC reset and PRAM reset. Normal PC can't do this.

Acorn
Mar 16, 2013, 03:37 PM
1. There are some MBA knockoff hackintoshs on the market. So, a shady shop can steal the real internals, sell it else where, and put in Hackintosh mobo and parts. i3 is typically used in cheap Hackintosh laptops. It might have been "modified" later than the stated product date so it's easier to mask performance issues with perceived age.

I'm assuming it's in a genuine MBA body? Hard to fake that.

2. Prototype, but doesn't have different board look. But as mentioned, the processor doesn't match. But the seller's avoidance is strange.





Read the thread. OP said the person who sold it doesn't know and is now unreachable.

What are you talking about. I read the thread. Nothing in my post mentions the original seller and has nothing to do with the original seller whatsoever. I said contact apple not theseller

Consultant
Mar 17, 2013, 12:27 AM
Interesting about the board config. Anyway, Apple typically want their prototype back (if listed on ebay it'll get pulled).

[/COLOR]

Regarding on #1, it looks very very much like the real thing, layout, connectors location, various IC location. Just some connectors different. It does has Apple EFI, not BIOS like normal PCs. To make a fake MBA and copy the exact same board layout as Apple and running Apple EFI seems to be impossible. I can say i have failed to contact the previous owner. Hes not responding to my texts, nor answering my calls. Should i send it to Apple? If its a prototype, will they confiscate my unit?

----------



Hackintosh uses BIOS, this one has Apple EFI on it. I can apply EFI update, do SMC reset and PRAM reset. Normal PC can't do this.

iMacC2D
Mar 17, 2013, 08:37 PM
The Logic Board definitely looks like a standard 2011 board. Nothing peculiar at first glance, the components are all where they're expected to be and the connectors look right, with the exception of the ones you noted.

The memory vendor 0x80CE cross references to Samsung Electronics, Inc. Apple does recognise Samsung (0x80CE) as an OEM vendor of memory to Apple and any diagnostic test would likely suggest this is genuine Apple supplied memory, for what it's worth.

The lack of backlighting on the keys could be as simple as key caps that have been replaced with older model caps for some reason, or perhaps it was manufactured that way.


Apple's contact channels won't be able to do much without a valid serial number, so communicating with Apple may be difficult. If the unit was returned to Apple, it would likely be destroyed, which to me seems like a massive shame (I myself would love to own a prototype system, being a bit of a hardware and technology history nut myself, it's something I'd take ultra-special care of).

Listing it as a prototype on eBay may see the auction pulled - they usually tend to halt resales of pre-production units.

swordfish5736
Mar 18, 2013, 01:31 PM
if you enter in terminalioreg -l | grep IOPlatformSerialNumber

is it blank?

in system profiler under serial-ata, which series chipset does it have?

pretty neat that you came across this.

the logic board itself definitely looks like 2011.

Corax
Mar 18, 2013, 06:15 PM
Wow, interesting! Keep us posted. :)

nebrot
Mar 19, 2013, 07:47 AM
I have been living 5 years in China - Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hohhot, Dalian all big cities, seen and had hands on all kind of copy stuff - electronics, cars, clothes, watches. Nothing came really close to the originals and were just rubbish. I found this Air unlikely to be a copy considering its build quality. As mentioned by someone before, it would cost a fortune to make it - copy design engineering, material sourcing, supply chain set-up, machining equipment and so on. "Normal" copy looks just so so from outside, but under the hood even worse. I really do not believe this to be fake - but OP please keep us posted, very interesting thread.

hackerwayne
Mar 19, 2013, 12:39 PM
if you enter in terminal

is it blank?

in system profiler under serial-ata, which series chipset does it have?

pretty neat that you came across this.

the logic board itself definitely looks like 2011.

Blank. Nothing showed up. Just this
:ioreg -l | grep IOPlatformSerialNumber
| "IOPlatformSerialNumber" = ""

How to check the chipset?
EDIT! Found it

Intel 7 Series Chipset
Apple SSD TS256C <this is my own SSD. The one came with it doesn't work

Intel 7 Series Chipset

Vendor: Intel
Product: Intel 7 Series Chipset
Link Speed: 6 Gigabit
Negotiated Link Speed: 6 Gigabit
Description: AHCI Version 1.30 Supported

EDIT! RIGHT! Thanks for the heads up, this guy has Series 7 chipset, where as the 2011 Air has Series 6 chipset.

hackerwayne
Mar 22, 2013, 12:13 PM
I have been living 5 years in China - Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hohhot, Dalian all big cities, seen and had hands on all kind of copy stuff - electronics, cars, clothes, watches. Nothing came really close to the originals and were just rubbish. I found this Air unlikely to be a copy considering its build quality. As mentioned by someone before, it would cost a fortune to make it - copy design engineering, material sourcing, supply chain set-up, machining equipment and so on. "Normal" copy looks just so so from outside, but under the hood even worse. I really do not believe this to be fake - but OP please keep us posted, very interesting thread.

Till today i still don't think im having a fake MBA. Ive been using it like a normal one and it perform just like a normal 2011 MBA

Mac_Max
Mar 23, 2013, 11:31 AM
That's exactly what I was getting at; why on earth would they utilize a last-gen processor with a current-gen chipset? If intel gave them samples of an newer chipset, why not give them samples of the newer CPU architecture as well?

They're build by different teams with different time tables. The new chipsets are basically the same as the old ones with the addition of on chip USB. Ivy Bridge was delayed so thats likely why they used Sandy Bridge for platform validation. As far as their chipsets are concerned, the difference between a Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge is some firmware. For example, the preceding gen LGA1155 montherboards are easily able to support Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update.

adnbek
Mar 23, 2013, 01:15 PM
Perhaps it's a yet-to-be-released "educational" edition similar to iMacs:

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/05/apple-launches-1099-21-5-inch-imac-with-3-3-ghz-dual-core-i3-processor-for-educational-institutions/

geveke
Mar 25, 2013, 05:18 AM
The keyboard is a MacBook (Black) keyboard, i think. The layout fits, and it's not truly backlit, since the keys are not letting light through. It just spills along the sides. It also accounts for the eject key.

hackerwayne
Mar 25, 2013, 10:19 AM
The keyboard is a MacBook (Black) keyboard, i think. The layout fits, and it's not truly backlit, since the keys are not letting light through. It just spills along the sides. It also accounts for the eject key.

Black Book doesn't have a Power On button on the kb. It matches the one in the 2010 MBA

lixuelai
Mar 25, 2013, 02:38 PM
There is no way this is a fake. Fake MBAs aren't this detailed. Likely a late prototype.

Btw a likely scenario for this is that this was a prototype from early 2012. Intel's Panther Point was released in April while Ivy Bridge was delayed till June. It is likely that Apple got Panther Point engineering samples earlier but did not have the Ivy Bridge chips on hand to build an exact 2012 prototype. So a 2011 MBA was hacked together with Panther Point for testing.

Another possibility was a contingency plan in case Ivy Bridge was further delayed and Apple wanted a slightly updated 2012 MBA with Sandy Bridge but newer chipset.

onirocdarb
Apr 13, 2013, 11:34 PM
Any new discoveries? Very interestingnthread

Queen6
Apr 19, 2013, 12:32 AM
I have been living 5 years in China - Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hohhot, Dalian all big cities, seen and had hands on all kind of copy stuff - electronics, cars, clothes, watches. Nothing came really close to the originals and were just rubbish. I found this Air unlikely to be a copy considering its build quality. As mentioned by someone before, it would cost a fortune to make it - copy design engineering, material sourcing, supply chain set-up, machining equipment and so on. "Normal" copy looks just so so from outside, but under the hood even worse. I really do not believe this to be fake - but OP please keep us posted, very interesting thread.

Till today i still don't think im having a fake MBA. Ive been using it like a normal one and it perform just like a normal 2011 MBA

I am ten years into China, and I agree the "knock off" stuff is in general very cheaply put together internally. I have seen some good copies of Mac`s over the years, all of them running Windows :p don't get me wrong there are some extremely skilful people here who could easily put something like this together, equally why? Here in Shenzhen we have literally dozens of high-rise`s that specialise in all IT product, countless thousands of outlets. All the Mac`s that I have seen recently are to all intents and purpose legitimate; they look right, they feel right, they all run OS X and priced as per Apple. There are some very obvious design copies, however these are not "clones" and running Windows.

It`s not impossible that the machine is some sort of fake, however I would expect to see a lot more of them popping up if this was the case...

hackerwayne
Apr 22, 2013, 03:10 AM
Any new discoveries? Very interestingnthread

Nope. Unit still with me. Im using it like a normal MBA.

joewillmott
Apr 24, 2013, 03:44 AM
I bought the EXACT same one last year before buying my proper MBA... it's fake. Like... mine was identical in every single way, although I never switched in another SSD, I had Windows 7 running on it. People saying they aren't this detailed are incorrect; it's just a good fake. I've had my fair share of good and bad fakes over the last year or two.

Verix
Apr 24, 2013, 08:44 AM
I had Windows 7 running on it.
The thing about this one is that it's running OS X natively through EFI. A knockoff shouldn't be able to do this. Was your device capable of running OS X?

MacTech68
Apr 24, 2013, 09:15 AM
As an aside, for those wondering about "fakes", as I was, I discovered a fake being sold locally by somebody who got duped into buying one.

Not really similar at all, but just an example.

Note the Apple logo on the lid in one of the pictures:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/121099592426

tardman91
Apr 24, 2013, 11:34 AM
As an aside, for those wondering about "fakes", as I was, I discovered a fake being sold locally by somebody who got duped into buying one.

Not really similar at all, but just an example.

Note the Apple logo on the lid in one of the pictures:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/121099592426

Haha. Some people are too clueless for their own good. :confused:

hackerwayne
Apr 26, 2013, 04:09 AM
I bought the EXACT same one last year before buying my proper MBA... it's fake. Like... mine was identical in every single way, although I never switched in another SSD, I had Windows 7 running on it. People saying they aren't this detailed are incorrect; it's just a good fake. I've had my fair share of good and bad fakes over the last year or two.

This guy runs EFI and has OSX Mountain Lion on it. Its 100% works like a normal MBA except it has a i3 in it.

joewillmott
Apr 26, 2013, 05:42 PM
This guy runs EFI and has OSX Mountain Lion on it. Its 100% works like a normal MBA except it has a i3 in it.

But when I bought my fake knock-off, they did offer the option of having OSX running on it for an extra 20. I didn't choose it because; a) I am a penny pinching bugger, and b) I needed to use UDK which is Windows-only.

Senseotech
Apr 26, 2013, 05:44 PM
But when I bought my fake knock-off, they did offer the option of having OSX running on it for an extra 20. I didn't choose it because; a) I am a penny pinching bugger, and b) I needed to use UDK which is Windows-only.

Being able to run OS X is one thing; having a native EFI that will boot a basically vanilla OS X is another thing entirely.

Morten Luebbert
Jul 5, 2013, 10:41 AM
I bought the EXACT same one last year before buying my proper MBA... it's fake. Like... mine was identical in every single way, although I never switched in another SSD, I had Windows 7 running on it. People saying they aren't this detailed are incorrect; it's just a good fake. I've had my fair share of good and bad fakes over the last year or two.

At first I like to introduce myself: My Name is Morten Luebbert and i am new to this forum.

I have to ask you a question Mr. Willmott, i would like to know where do you bought this Macbook knock-off? I'm really interested in, because I'm planning to buy a Macbook, but the Problem is that I'm a student and don't have that much money to buy a Macbook for about 1500€, so I started to search for alternatives and i read this thread really interested into it, and thought about buying such a knock-off mac, that works and feels like a Mac. So, it would be nice, if you could tell me where to buy one of these "Macbooks" :D.

And I'm sorry for such a bad english but I'm from Germany and not that good in english as well :D