MacBook Pro 3G prototype, which received bids of more than $70,000 on eBay auction, has finally caught Apple’s attention. CNet reports that Apple has contacted seller Carl Frega to return the 15″ prototype model which features a Magsafe 3G antenna, 3G hardware and SIM card slot (Dynastream ANT2USB card) built in.

MacBook Pro 3G Data

This 3G-equipped MacBook prototype was purchased by the seller from Craigslist who later repaired it before putting it on eBay. The 3G connector in the machine was identified by the operating system, but wasn’t functional. Keeping in mind that 3G band can be repaired, he then took it to an Apple Store Genius Bar, where the service repair was denied, since the machine had non-Apple parts without an EMC number. The repair invoice quoted:

Opened machine to observe that nearly every internal part was 3rd party; main logic board, optical drive, display, hard drive, top case, and others. Machine number (W8707003Y53) is also not recognized as a valid number.

Proposed Resolution: Denied services; machine has been modified by unauthorized providers beyond repair.”

Macbook Pro 3G Repair Receipt

As a result, the second buyer ended up taking Frega to small claims court, alleging that he had sold him fake machine after which Frega had to accept the machine back and refund the money.

After acknowledging that Apple or its authorized service centers will be of no help, he decided to sell this 15″ MacBook Pro Santa Rosa laptop with a 3G antenna on eBay, which fetched bids of more than $70k from interested buyers. The listing was however, pulled out from eBay auction at the request of Apple, citing infringement on copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights.

Apple has contacted North Carolina based Carl Frega and asked to set up a time to have someone from the company pick it up. Apple declined to comment on whether Frega would be compensated for what he originally paid for the proto-device. Via [Macrumors]

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