The companies are Brilliant Store, Sunvalleytek International, and Hootoo.com, and have been, according to Apple, selling dubious MacBook power adaptors on their websites and touting them as the genuine article to naive fanboys.
The thing is that the adaptors do not look like Apple adapters, and Hootoo.com, at least, states that it is not an Apple product, bur rather a third-party one. The prices alone could indicate that, with Hootoo.com’s adapters going for as little as $17, compared to Apple’s familiarly expensive $79.
That’s not stopping Apple, though, which isn’t keen on people buying non-Apple products, particularly as replacement adapters for its MacBook range. Instead of a standard connection, it employs an Apple-specific proprietary connection which forces users to buy and use only its products.
Now that others have offered similar versions without the half-eaten fruit logo that obviously merits the extra 60 odd quid, it has thrown a bit of a tantrum.
Apple can’t seem to differentiate between “Apple-compatible” and “Apple”, which is much of where its legal argument comes from. It claims the third-party models are fakes, which means the companies have to be advertising them as genuine Apple products.
This is not what we found, however. On investigating the products offered by the three companies it was clear to us that these adaptors were for Apple products, but not by Apple itself. We suspect that’s clear to Apple too. They can’t be fake if they are genuine third-party products designed to work with Apple kit.
Again, it appears to all boil down to the fruity company not wanting anyone else taking a slice of its apple pie.