If you could legally purchase macOS/OS X for use on any computer, would you still buy Mac hardware?

If you could legally purchase macOS/OS X for ANY computer, would you continue to buy Mac HARDWARE?

  • Yes - I would continue buying Mac hardware no differently than before

    Votes: 20 16.8%
  • Yes-BUT-Less - I would continue to buy Mac hardware, but my buying habits would change

    Votes: 29 24.4%
  • No - I would NOT buy ANY Mac hardware in the future

    Votes: 23 19.3%
  • No-BUT-Tentative - I would NOT buy ANY Apple hardware in the future, UNLESS major changes are made

    Votes: 37 31.1%
  • Unsure/Other

    Votes: 10 8.4%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 23, 2017
I'm curious about this, and not sure where to put this poll.

Let's say that (as unlikely as it may be) Apple announced it would begin selling macOS (OS X) and licensing it for usage with hardware made by other Makers and for custom builds. (And, for reference, let's say it would be priced competitively with Windows 10 Professional x64.) Would this affect your purchasing of Mac hardware* components? Please elaborate why or why not, and, if so, how.

(*I chose to say "Mac hardware" because I am most interested in how this change would impact purchasing habits with the Mac, but if this would affect your purchasing of iOS hardware, even if the iOS licensing remains unchanged, please explain why.)
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macrumors 604
Apple's hardware is becoming more of a fashion statment than usable tools, I need portable Mac`s that work in the field today not in the future, if and when others adopt. Port situation on the new MacBook Pro is laughable, with the overall design serving Apple far more than the the customer.

Right now Apple are producing Mac's that simply don't suit my purpose, therefore I am now using the competitions hardware. Apple to me no longer represents the value it once did, too expensive for the average user, too diluted for some professional needs. Rather more becoming a lifestyle statement more than anything else, desktops with no upgrade path speaks volumes...

Undoubtedly Apple knows exactly what it's doing with the Mac, equally as a longterm customer I for one do not care for the direction, nor will I purchase hardware as nice as it is, if it does not meet my professional requirements. One thing I do believe Apple is loosing sight of is the "halo effect" it's core user group has. As a direct result for the 13" category I have moved to Microsoft's Surface Book over the MBP, proving to be more stable than my MBP's and the best notebook I have used to date. I just feel that Apple is in it for the "cash grab" these days, looking to produce Mac's in the same manner as IOS devices.

n.b. My systems are used professionally in engineering environments globally.

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Jul 11, 2006
It would all depend on how the third party stuff compares to Apple both in price and performance, but I would definitely consider buying elsewhere if it worked just as well or better.
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Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
It's times like these I'm glad I'm a Windows user. I'm not beholden to a single hardware manufacturer who may, or may not, share my values.

It's pretty sad for some people who love MacOS but then Apple doesn't make the computers they want.

So if Apple is gonna lose interest in Macs... then they should sell MacOS separately.

Apple getting $300 for a copy of MacOS is better than getting ZERO dollars when someone doesn't buy a Mac at all.


Staff member
May 3, 2009
Would this affect your purchasing of Mac hardware*
I guess on one level it will, but on another level, I'm already looking at hardware other then Apple.

I may very well still buy a MacBook Pro in the near future (I'm not totally closing that door), but I think its harder to justify getting value for your money. At least I think that's the case when it comes to the MacBook Pros. The iMacs is a good computer with a gorgeous display.

If Apple goes that route, it will be the death knell of its Mac line. There will be little justification to buy the more expensive hardware. Plus one of the touted benefits would be gone as well. Apple's tight integration of hardware and software. They'll be making OS X more like windows in that way.

Also, as I'm sure the OP is aware of, Apple did try this after they fired Jobs. That was one reason why the company almost went bankrupt and upon his return Steve killed off the "clone" project which licensed macOS to others.
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macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2011
The Netherlands
When the Mac makes a knee-fall, I'll ditch the Apple eXosystem completely. Moving to Microsoft then with PC / Windows 10 CU / Windows Phone etc.

Already creating and setting-up the bubble to be able to 'sell' this gamechanger to my spouses seemless!

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macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
Maybe for a desktop. But not for a laptop. I'd still pay the Apple premium.

Heck, even if I moved to Windows for some masochistic reason, I'd still buy a MacBook Pro to use it on. Apple's hardware is gorgeous.

Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
I don't understand "gorgeous hardware". I like a thinner laptop, but I don't see it as anything but a tool. I guess I just don't sit around and admire the hardware; I want to get the job done. :)

I don't see moving to Windows being associated with masochism either, as not a single OS can do it all.
Re admiring the hardware:
I rarely spend less than 10 hours a day looking at a screen. It gets a lot less straining to look at a very good screen than looking at a bad one.
I take better care of hardware that looks great meaning it lives for a longer time, lowering the TCO.
I prefer working with hardware that feels solid and well-built.
All in all, I'd argue I get a better job done in less time on good hardware. Now Apple is not the only supplier of good hardware, but when it comes to laptops, Apple's machines have long been setting the standard most other manufacturers have been striving to reach with their high-end models.

Re "not a single OS can do it all":
No, but a single OS can push most of the right buttons for you personally.
I much prefer the Unix way of doing things to the Windows philosophy in most cases, and macOS is, for the most part, "Unix done right". When my work requires me to do Windows stuff I run VMs (or connect to Windows servers) from my Mac.
[doublepost=1490349370][/doublepost]To answer the OP:
I've rebuilt my gaming environment in Linux three times since last summer for various reasons.(*) I've had to reinstall the nVidia graphics driver from the console like some savage at least three times after getting a new kernel update in the same period of time. This is for an environment whose main reason for existence is to serve as a means of relaxation for me. Would I prefer the "it just works" I'm used to from my work computer? You bet.

But for exactly this reason I would be wary of running macOS on non-standard hardware: I'm old enough to swear at tools that don't do what they're supposed to, and I have a large enough income that I can usually purchase proper tools when I need them.

So what I would really like, is a semi-powerful Mac, built by Apple, with a single but good desktop graphics card fit for three to five years of "a little more than casual" gaming; initially with rather high graphics settings at a good resolution. If the graphics card was user replaceable that would be a huge added bonus; that would mean a realistic seven-year lifetime for such a machine if you didn't skimp on the hardware when buying it.

*) Main reason being I'm not good enough with desktop type Linux distributions and software to properly troubleshoot them. It's faster to do a reinstall (or restore a backup) and return to somewhat sane defaults than understanding why Steam suddenly starts as a process but refuses to show a window and fixing the problem, for example.
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Staff member
May 3, 2009
I don't understand "gorgeous hardware". I like a thinner laptop, but I don't see it as anything but a tool
Some people love the look of the laptop, I can't knock someone from doing that, I think the new MacBook is stunning. Yes, I think its a tool as well, but that doesn't mean I need to get a fugly black brick from some maker.

Consider cars, they're a necessity for many people yet folks go out of their way to get something that is appealing to them visually, computers are no different. In fact Apple had a marketing program back in the day hilighting the fact they're not your typical beige box


macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
3rd rock from the sun...
Actually I am about to abandon the Mac platform soon completely, if Apple is not getting their act together with their Mac support. The negligence of their computer line-up AND MacOS is getting to a point where I can't justify anymore to buy another one, after being a faithful Mac user for more than 30 years. The current Mac models are pathetic. They even managed to make the MacBook Pro unbuyable. Form over function. Shiny life-style products. That's all they care about.

Even if I could run MacOS legally on a Standard PC... would I want to? MacOS became a clunky, unstable and slow POS in the last few years. It's telling a lot that Win10 runs better on many Macs than MacOS itself.

The only reason why I am still on a Mac by now is that I spent a lot of money for my Apple ecosystem. which is spanning quite a few devices and I get very sentimental thinking of having to switch.

Logic is the last program that hinders me to jump ship any time soon, since there is no PC version anymore after Apple acquired it. Moving to a new DAW software with all my projects is just terribly cumbersome. But if they go on pushing me I will eventually. Logic 10.3 is a joke performance wise. The new GUI needs way more juice than in 10.2. Meaning that I run into performance problems with projects now that worked completely fine before. So I downgraded to 10.2 again. Thanks for making a software deliberately unusable for no good reason.

I can get a quite high end performance PC in a very sexy case for half the price of the Mac Pro and it still runs circles around it... and it is maintain- and expandable. And Win10 isn't that bad after all. All other software I work with is available also for Windows or you can get similar programs.

So that's what I am looking for... A performant workstation that is affordable and lets me make changes to the hardware if necessary. If you are maybe just updating the Mac Pro, then forget about it. (Soldered on Graphics, HD and RAM in a pro machine??? HELLO?) An iMac is no option anyway, neither is a Mac mini.

A Hackintosh could be an option, but I don't feel like taking the risk to work with an unsupported and unstable machine.

Please Apple, I want to stay... but enough is enough.
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macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2005
No longer logging into MR
Some people love the look of the laptop, I can't knock someone from doing that, I think the new MacBook is stunning. Yes, I think its a tool as well, but that doesn't mean I need to get a fugly black brick from some maker.

Consider cars, they're a necessity for many people yet folks go out of their way to get something that is appealing to them visually, computers are no different. In fact Apple had a marketing program back in the day hilighting the fact they're not your typical beige box
I'm not knocking anyone. I understand others can see it, but I can't. I can spot better looking hardware (thin, solid keyboard, etc), but my spectrum goes from "ick" to "pretty good".

holden j caufield

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2017
Pretty funny with all the news of Win10 collecting data and having to edit the registry and perform other hacks to stop it PC users are moving to Linux and OS X. I'm agnostic, my macbook retina 15 is the lightest I own that can run most of my work. It's limited to 16gb so it can't run all of it. The keyboard on my thinkpads are superior but my macbook is far lighter and he 2880 x 1800 is a good resolution as my 4k and WQHD is too hard to read at native resolution.
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macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
Without better hardware support especially with gaming like DirectX and Vulkan I wouldn't have much use for the OS itself. Since I would end up buying high end why would I want a 1080/1080Ti for use with Metal.

Thankfully (for my wallet) I'm not a PC gamer and MacOS offers everything I need albeit at a premium (that I'm willing to pay) from photo editing to video encoding.

Now MacOS with DirectX and Vulkan support with good devs support is a different story. I would build a beast of a PC to run MacOS in that case and forgo Windows entirely.


macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
Yup, I work IT all day. The last thing I want to do is constantly maintain my own personal computer at the end of the day.
A valid point. I too work in IT, and whilst our customer environments could be considered well thought out and stable (I would hope!), my home environment is nothing of the sort. I find it important to make use of products for personal use that aren't an issue. In saying that, I don't see much of a difference in terms of reliability from my Apple machines vs my Windows machines.

I would love to run OS X on PCs more - have done in the past. But at the end of the day I will still pay for the convenience factor.


macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2013
The Netherlands
I currently use an iPhone 7 and a 15" MacBook Pro from 2015.

Right now if I look at the Dell XPS 15 on their website I could get this for only €1799: 7th gen i7, 16GB DDR4 RAM (upgradable to 32), 512GB SSD, 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1050, lots of ports including TB3, 4K touch screen, bigger battery and surprisingly similar dimensions.

Compare that to the 2016 MacBook Pro. There's a 1500 euro price difference (high end with 460 graphics).

If the Dell could run macOS, I can no longer justify getting the MBP over the Dell. Who could, honestly? Is there really a €1500 difference in build quality?

If the Samsung Galaxy S8 could run iOS, who wouldn't want to try that for a change? They'll drop in price in just a few weeks from now :p

But of course this licensing thing is never going to happen. And macOS/iOS also benefits from being so well integrated with the hardware which is easy to overlook.


macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2017
I personally think that all the problems that are being brought up here could easily be fixed by simply building a Hackintosh dual running OSX and Win 10, simply do what you can on OSX have it as your start up drive then when you need to do some gaming that cant be done on mac osx whether its drivers or whatever you simply go to windows 10, you'll need a AMD GPU though and for now that would probably be the RX 580 and as for your processor, srs gamers can go for a I5 6600k, you'll need at least a Sata 6gb/s SSD or a m.2 for at least the 2 OSs.

Problem Solved...?
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macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2011
The Netherlands
Its seems with the creators update you have more control over what is being reported back to the mothership.
For what I understand, if you change FULL to BASIC, the telemetry in Windows 10 CU is still more or less the same as the - not tweaked by any shut-up tools - Windows 10 AU. So the reports to the mothership are still massive!



macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
I would go back to buying myself ThinkPads and enjoy my iOS devices.

I really don't mind Windows beyond the whole privacy thing though. Apple's got values that I look for in a corporate overlord, even if I don't necessarily like what they do with their products all the time. Rather happy with what I've got now. I will reevaluate in two to three years when it's time for a new set of gear.


macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
United States
The last Apple computer I purchased new was in 2006. Apple just hasn't built a new computer that has been a compelling purchase for me since then.

So, if they won't build what I want or need, they would get more money out of me by selling OS X for other PC's. I'd be happy to buy OS X to install on another computer. I won't buy another Mac until Apple redesigns their line-up and produces something I want to buy, and offers it at a price I can justify.

So, considering they're not making any money from me now, they'd get more out of me by selling OS X separately.
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