It’s no secret that Apple likes to keep its prototype devices to itself, and now the company is working on getting a 2007 MacBook Pro prototype back that included a unique feature: 3G wireless data support. The laptop includes a SIM card slot, along with an external antenna that attaches magnetically.
Macbook Pro prototype from Ebay listing
The prototype laptop, according to CNET, is currently in the hands of Carl Frega in North Carolina. Mr. Frega said he bought the laptop off of Craigslist for parts, but kept the computer together because he was able to get it working again.
Exactly where the laptop came from before it landed in Mr. Frega’s hands is something of a mystery.
After installing a new hard drive and Snow Leopard, he sold the laptop on Craigslist. The new buyer took the MacBook Pro to an Apple Genius Bar for maintenance, but was denied service because they thought the machine was cobbled together with third-party parts. The owner ended up suing Mr. Frega claiming he was sold a counterfeit computer.
The court ordered Mr. Frega to refund the money his buyer paid, and he took back the computer. In August, he listed the computer on Ebay, where Apple finally took notice and had the auction shut down.
Now Apple is arranging to pick up the laptop from Mr. Frega since they’d rather not have the prototype in the wild.
Apple never released a MacBook Pro with 3G wireless support, although that doesn’t mean the company wouldn’t considering including the feature in future models. From Mr. Frega’s perspective, however, they aren’t easy to sell.