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Remember that odd MacBook Pro that turned up on eBay earlier this month sporting a MagSafe antenna and SIM slot? It turns out that Apple killed the auction and is now requesting the owner to return it, following an interesting saga involving Craigslist and a local Genius Bar.
Cnet is reporting that Carl Frega, the North Carolina man who recently tried to sell a prototype MacBook Pro with 3G data on eBay, has now been approached by Apple requesting return of the unit. The move comes on the heels of Apple killing the auction after it reached $70,000, claiming the listing infringed on their copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property rights.
As it turns out, the 2007-era MacBook Pro has had a bit of a wild ride prior to turning up on everyone’s radar on eBay three weeks ago. Apparently, Frega purchased the laptop from someone on Craigslist to use as parts for his repair business. Needless to say, he received a bit of a shock after opening the unit and discovering it was quite different inside, complete with a SIM card slot presumably used for a 3G data connection.
Ironically, Frega had posted the notebook online once before -- at the Anandtech forums, where he searched for help on getting the unit working again but failed to garner much interest there. Convinced the unit had little value, he upgraded the hard drive, installed Mac OS X Snow Leopard and resold the unit on Craigslist.
Apparently the new buyer had issues with the MacBook Pro and soon scheduled a Genius Bar appointment at the Apple Store in Raleigh, North Carolina. Much to the surprise of the Genius there, the unit was full of non-Apple parts and the laptop was turned away for service.
"Opened machine to observe that nearly every internal part was third party; main logic board, optical drive, display, hard drive, top case, and others,” the Genius Bar report obtained by Cnet reads. “Machine serial number (W8707003Y53) is also not recognized as a valid number."
The second buyer wound up taking Frega to small claims court over the sale, which resulted in an offer to have the case heard on the TV show Judge Mathis (which he declined) and an eventual judgment forcing Frega to repay the $740 -- which is how the MacBook Pro wound up back in his hands and was soon listed for sale on eBay.
It’s not surprising that Apple is seeking to have the prototype returned, particularly after last year’s drama with the iPhone 4 leaked to the world by Gizmodo. Frega claims that someone from Apple has been in touch with him and is arranging to have the prototype picked up -- ending its curious saga, at least for now.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of MacRumors)