Fake / Prototype Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by brett33, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    #1
    Now on ebay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200278121944

    I recently picked up a used Macbook Air 1.6

    The bottom case is black without any markings on it.

    Computer does boot up, but the battery has swollen and distorted the case. I removed the bottom of the case and pulled the battery with thoughts of purchasing a replacement battery. When looking at the connections they are different from the disassembly pictures on the web, and then most of the other internals are slightly different than on the various disassembly sites as well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (Sorry for the relatively bad photos)

    As you can see it looks very similar to the disassembly photos on the web, but it does not look exactly like them. The main board does have "Apple" stamped on it.

    Just wondering what exactly is going on.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Ironic

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    #2
    No idea, maybe a test unit?post pics of the black bottom of the case.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #3
    While you're at it, pics of the rest of the machine put together please?
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    #4
    Fake MacBook Air? .... I smell a certain PsyStar in the "air" ;)
     
  5. macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #5
    Intriguing. Do you have a serial number? Who did you acquire this from? Since it booted up, any System Profiler info.?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Here's more pics as requested. Notice that the camera look a bit different and that it doesn't say macbook air on the bezel.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    I left the swollen battery at a friends when I took it apart, I'll try to grab it tomorrow and reassemble it and pull the info on it. I did try the system profiler on it and the interesting thing was that it said that the airport was not detected.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #8
    I actually like the two-tone look with the black plastic bottom. It follows the color scheme of the original iPhone. I'd take a guess and say you got a pre-production unit, which probably has a higher value for the right Apple collector. Nice find!
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #9
    I wonder if is a copy?

    Back in the early 80's, in Korea you could purchase Apple ]['s a huge discount.

    The Korean Apple computers were black market imitations/clones and they were very much like the originals except for some parts. They worked well and were about half price. We called them Krapples for short.

    Maybe this is a modern day version of a clone.

    It could also be a prototype.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #10
    Most probably a prototype MBA, no idea how it wound up on ebay, but it does happen.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #11
    That, my friend, is truly awesome (assuming it is pre-production). I think you could easily get 3-4x the normal retail price (if not more) if you could somehow prove that it is indeed pre-pro.

    EDIT:
    a few things i noticed:
    it has the old style apple keyboard, with no backlighting.
    it has a different style power button
    it looks as if the unibody production system hadn't been completed yet, as the aluminum over the keyboard is sagging.
    no macbook air logo (obviously)
     
  12. macrumors regular

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    #12
    I 2nd that guess. Only apple has access to that tiny chipset so no way other people got it to copy. That's crazy dude, it's a total one of a kind.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #13
    Very cool. I noticed the power button is a bit shinier than mine which matches the anodized body. I'm wondering what it looks like under the heat sink. It also has an apple logo on the command key and the trackpad size is a bit off..
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #14
    I've a quick question: does the iSight work, and how big is the hard drive? Also, what about bluetooth? What ports are on the side? Mini-DVI, USB, and MagSafe. And is the magsafe the air kind or one from an original macbook?
     
  15. thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    Okay, so it boots up without the battery.

    Here are some pics of the proflier.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. macrumors regular

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    Nov 6, 2008
    #16
    Since the model name simply says "Mac" in the System Profiler, I'm guessing that Apple didn't even have a definitive name picked out when they built your machine (or they wanted it to be nameless in the event of a leak.) That also explains the lack of the MBA logo at the bottom of the screen.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #17
    According to appleserialnumber.info:

    Serial Number: W8720008YQE



    Your Mac was built in Shanghai, China.
    Your Mac was built in 2007.
    Your Mac was built in week 20 of that year (May).
    Your Mac was number 8 to be built that week.

    That means it is a prototype, if that website is correct! Amazing, IMO.

    One more thing: it runs Tiger (or a beta leopard, the about this mac screen is blurry), meaning that it may be possible to run tiger on a production air (not likely, but interesting.) maybe you could image the drive and see if a willing air owner would "flash" the image to their drive.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    The iSight seems to work, but the picture isn't the best. the only way to test was with iChat. The colors seemed faded and it basicallyjust looked rather low resolution.

    Hard drive is listed as 36.93GB (hadn't thought of checking that.

    The ports seem to be the same but the power adapter that it came with was the one for the macbook and not hte one for the air. I assumed that prior use of this more powerful adapter was what caused the battery to distort.
     
  19. macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #19
    This is very interesting. Do you have any history on this computer from previous owner? I can't see Apple not knowing where this is/was since they keep a super tight rein on their prototypes. Stolen? Lost?
     
  20. macrumors 68000

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    #20
    That's strange but pretty neat. I would hold on to it.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Lexoticstylez02

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    #21
    Very interesting, it definitely seems like a pre-production unit. Maybe you could take it in to an Apple Store and have them take a look at it, then you'll know for sure. The only thing that seems odd to me is that it appears to be running 10.4 (Tiger) and the hard drive is only 40GB.

    If this truly is a pre-production then congrats, I would def. keep it!
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Ironic

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    #22
    what did you pay for it ?Can you post a link to the auction?
     
  23. thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    The only history that I have on it is that I bought it on ebay as a BIN in order to get the live.com cashback. The machine was described as a 1.6ghz macbook air 2GB 60GB (guess they just assumed it was a 60GB drive). It also said that the hinges were loose (they are), but not broken, and that the bezel around the screen is a bit damaged. I asked if it booted alright and if there were any other issues, and was told that was it. I was looking for a cheap alternative to a new one for my fiancee as she wanted a mac to take to grad school. I figured that she could deal with the hinges etc.


    The person I got it from has sold other macs and mac parts, and is based out of California.

    I'll see if I can get anymore history on the computer.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    Link to auction

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130265939597&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123

    Yeah, it is interesting, but truthfully I'd really just rather have one that works right.

    Since the connections for the battery are different I'm not sure if I'll be able to get another one to put in it.

    I might go to the apple store and see what they say, but I don't really know if I want to be grilled by them about how I came to get this machine.
     
  25. macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #25
    I thought Apple kept their prototypes locked down tight. It is interesting, but I do wonder if it was stolen by the seller.
     

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