Following in the footsteps of Psystar, a new company called “OpenCore Computer” this week launched a commercial Hackintosh computer called the “Velociraptor,” which is a violation of Apple’s end-user license agreement or EULA for macOS.
On its website, OpenCore claims that it hopes to make Mac Pro-style workstations more accessible. The company’s lineup of computers, which they call “zero-compromise Hackintoshes,” are advertised as coming with macOS Catalina and Windows 10 Pro pre-installed. The first available model is the “Velociraptor,” which is configurable with up to a 16-core CPU, 64GB of RAM, and a Vega VII GPU, and starts at $2,199. OpenCore intends to launch more models at a later date, with options allowing for up to a 64-core CPU and 256GB of RAM.
Hackintoshes are computers that run macOS on hardware not authorized by Apple. OpenCore offers an open-source tool used to prepare a system for booting macOS. The company reports that its computers “work just like a regular Apple Mac.” Hackintosh machines have to bypass copy-protection technologies that Apple uses to protect macOS from being cloned, affording them a dubious legal status.
Commercial Hackintoshes have a notorious legal history. The now-defunct Psystar Corporation sold so-called “Open Computers” from 2008, with the option to have Mac OS X Leopard pre-installed. Apple’s EULA forbids third-party installations of its software, and any commercial Mac clone is a violation of that agreement, as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Apple sued Psystar in 2009 and won a permanent injunction against the company, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case in 2012. Given this precedence, it is particularly surprising that OpenCore has chosen to sell a Hackintosh.
OpenCore seems to be trying to get around the EULA by accepting payments in Bitcoin cryptocurrency only. In an attempt to prove that the company is not a scam, it offers the use of escrow payment through “Bitrated,” which intends to bring consumer protection and fraud prevention measures to cryptocurrency transactions. Much like the skepticism levelled at Psystar in 2008 when it announced its Mac clone, the legitimacy of OpenCore is unclear. No address for the company is given and there is little further information about it online.