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Mac prototype lands on ebay: bidding already at 10k

A Macintosh prototype has hit Ebay in America, and bidding is already just over $10,000. The machine is a prototype MacBook Pro which has a retractable antenna and SIM card slot.

The current owner says on ebay “This auction is for a particularly unique and interesting piece of Apple hardware:  an unreleased pre-production prototype of the 2007 15″ Macbook Pro Santa Rosa laptop with red circuit boards and integrated cellular data functionality.  It is to my knowledge one of a kind, I have been unable to find information about any other similar machines in existence.  It is in very good physical condition and fully functional, currently running Snow Leopard.  If you want to own a truly rare piece of Apple hardware and history this is the chance!  Please read on for a full description of the machine and its differences from a normal Macbook Pro.”

Knowing Apple’s strict terms for ebay and selling ‘prototype’ machines, we aren’t sure if the auction will remain active much longer, but perhaps they don’t care about this specific machine.

The computer is based on an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 ghz processor and can be expanded to 6GB of memory. 2GB of which is installed already.

The owner apparently bought it from Craiglist as a ‘non working’ parts machine.

He said “Upon removing the top case it was immediately clear this was no normal Macbook Pro:  the circuit boards inside were bright red as opposed to the normal blue!  Further inspection found multiple differences from the stock version, most notably a feature never seen in a Macbook laptop of any kind:  what appears to be a fully integrated cellular modem and SIM slot.  There is an extendable cellular antenna located at the right top side of the display assembly (The antenna is marked with “Tyco  Proto / #006” when slid out), and a standard size SIM card slot located underneath the memory cover on the bottom of the machine.  The SIM card board is connected to the logic board via a connector not found on production machines.  The solder footprint for it is still present on the production boards and not populated, which is interesting.  This would seem to suggest that it was a last minute decision to remove the cellular functionality before going into mass production.  The optical drive is marked as a “Sample for Evaluation”.  Rather than a normal EMC Number the specifications lapel simply says “XXXX”, and the serial number does not show up in Apple’s online database.   Rather than use the machine for parts I of course had to put the time into repairing it to its original condition and see what happened!”

He managed to get it working by repairing the red logic board.

Kitguru says: If you fancy this, then be prepared to pay. We reckon if the auction is allowed to run that it will settle for more than $15,000. There are some serious Macintosh collectors out there.

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