Apple has grown to be one of the most valuable companies in the world thanks in part to the tight integration of hardware and software. Unlike Google or Microsoft, you can only get Apple’s software if you buy its hardware. That hasn’t stopped some companies from trying to sell so-called “Hackintosh” computers with custom hardware and Apple’s software. This has not worked out for said companies in the past, but a new outfit called OpenCore Computers has taken up the Hackintosh mantle with the Windows-macOS hybrid “Velociraptor.”
If you want a Windows 10 PC, you can get one for as little as a few hundred dollars. However, Apple’s computers cost considerably more. The cheapest route is the MacBook Air for $1,000. To get the full desktop experience, the new Mac Pro starts at $6,000. OpenCore, on the other hand, offers the Velociraptor for a mere $2,200, and it’s no slouch.
The Velociraptor is a fully configurable PC in a mini-ITX case with a pair of SSDs — one with Windows 10 and the other with macOS Catalina. The base model offers an 8-core Ryzen 3700X with 12 (3900X) and 16-core (3950X) upgrade options. You can also choose between multiple CPU coolers, GPUs, SSDs, and more. You can spend over $4,000 on a fully decked out Velociraptor. Each computer is a custom build, and OpenCore requires you to pay 30 percent of the cost when you place your order.
Apple’s End User License Agreement (EULA) restricts the sale of third-party computers running macOS. Indeed, other companies have tried to sell Hackintoshes only to be smacked down in court. The most famous was Psystar, which launched a custom Hackintosh PC in 2010. Apple’s lawyers had completely shut the company down just a few years later and secured a $2.7 million penalty.
OpenCore seems acutely aware of the legal peril. Because of Apple’s EULA, the company can’t rely on any conventional payment processors. Therefore, it’s only accepting payment for computers in Bitcoin with an escrow system called Bitrated. Yes, this does come off as somewhat shady, but this is a company willing to knowingly violate Apple’s EULA.
OpenCore has two more Hackintosh systems listed on its website, but it won’t reveal them for a few months. Apple might attempt to drown OpenCore in legal filings before that happens, though. Keeping its funds in Bitcoin might help it keep the lights on, but Apple isn’t likely to let this slide.
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