A little while back, an eBay user with a listing for a 3G-equipped MacBook Pro caused quite a stir. Though it was purchased as a for-parts laptop from a seller on Craigslist, Apple demanded the listing be removed. Now it seems that Apple isn't just happy with blocking the sale, it wants its prototype laptop back.
CNet got in touch with the owner of the Macbook Pro, a man from North Carolina named Carl Frega. Frega says he was contacted by Apple yesterday afternoon to have someone from Cupertino come pick up the laptop in question. Interesting, considering an Apple Store employee actually saw the machine and refused to fix it because it was supposedly filling with third-party components.
Frega told CNet that he came by the laptop on Craigslist and repaired it before selling it on again (something he does regularly with all kinds of computer equipment). The new owner had a problem with the computer and took it to the Genius Bar to have it fixed only to be told that "nearly every internal part was third-party" and they couldn't fix it. According to the Genius Bar work order, the main logic board, optical drive, display, hard drive, and top case were non-Apple parts. This is despite the fact that the motherboard was the trademark red that Apple uses in its prototypes. The person that had purchased the machine from Frego ended up taking him to small claims court for selling him a fake MacBook Pro and Frega ended up with the MacBook Pro and an order to pay the other party $740.
Except now it seems Apple has decided that this MacBook Pro is not filled with third-party components, but is a genuine Apple prototype that it wants back. Frego did not offer any more details about arrangements to return the prototype to Apple, including whether or not he'll be reimbursed for the cash he coughed up to buy it in the first place. His unique laptop garnered a significant amount of attention when it appeared for sale on eBay as a collectors item and bidding reached $70,000 in less than a day.