back to article Apple squashes unauthorized MacBook battery maker

Apple's legal team has succeeded in forcing the only company to offer external MacBook batteries and chargers — HyperMac, a division of China's Sanho Digital Electronics — to cease selling said products. "As part of our ongoing comprehensive licensing negotiations with Apple regarding a wide array of technologies and issues," …


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  1. Cunningly Linguistic
    Jobs Horns

    Once again...

    A company with $20bn profits wins out and Joe Public loses out.

    One more example of how Apple has, in reality, a rotten core.

    1. Ted Treen

      Knee-jerk anti-Apple diatribe alert...

      If unauthorised charging accessories caused harm to a MacBook, or batteries to self-immolate, no doubt you'd be amongst the first to heap invective upon Apple.

      Any excuse, justified or not...

      Sophistry rules...

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Do you actually know what a HyperMac charger is?

      It's a battery. One which you plug into the normal mains connector of your Mac device, thus giving you the ability to charge/maintain your internal battery whilst on the move.

      They're not a 'cheap alternative' to official Apple chargers - they're completely different and for different purposes - Apple chargers cannot do what these do.

      So, I'm wondering whether you're just trolling, but not completely sure...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone loses out

    Li-Ion batteries burn if charged incorrectly. When this happens manufacturers get sued for silly amounts and forced to recall millions of perfectly good devices to appease the masses.

    So sure killing off HyperMac is unfortunate, but it probably has nothing to do with being nasty or begrudging them their infinitesimal sliver of Apple's potential profit. It's simply self preservation.

    I doubt any company would do something that generates such bad press simply for the hell of it.

    1. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

      RE: Everyone loses out

      >> Li-Ion batteries burn if charged incorrectly. When this happens manufacturers get sued for silly amounts and forced to recall millions of perfectly good devices to appease the masses.

      But what you plug into the external connector does NOT directly control battery charging. Battery management is by stuff internal to the computer, and the only think that influences charging is information on the available power from the external power supply.

      So no, there is absolutely NO chance of en external charger causing battery fires.

      Where this action is so very wrong is that having looked at the MagSafe patent in the past, and having looked at the connector, I cannot see anything whatsoever that is actually used in the connector and which is validly patentable (or was at the time the patent was granted). If someone with enough cash started up making/selling MagSafe equipped devices, then I'm pretty sure they could have the case thrown out and/or the relevant patent claims declared invalid under re-examination. But such an action costs more than some small company can come up with and they are therefore left with two choices - give in to Apple and stop infringing on an invalid patent, or go bust under the weight of costs trying to prove you are in the right.

      So as others have pointed out - Apple wins, everyone else loses out. It wouldn't be quite so bad if Apple actually made the options available that people want, but this simply denies users the ability to do things they want/need to do.

  4. semprance
    Jobs Horns

    Jobs wins again

    Less options for Apple customers? Score one to Jobs, the lock-down king!

    1. Ted Treen


      you mean FEWER options? - Or is it that you have the same number of options, but each one is smaller, somehow?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unusual business decision

    If it had been me I'd have stopped selling the devices with a magsafe adaptor and bundled it with a range of 'ends' to attach ... then startup a shell company which sold a magsafe 'end', apple sues the shell company which dies, and another one pops up to replace it!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Even worse...

    HyperMac used reclaimed MagSafe connectors from old PSUs to avoid any patent issues (i.e. making 3rd party MagSafe connectors) - so they're using genuine parts that have been thrown away - but Apple seemed to take issue anyway.

  7. Kurgan

    They do it for YOUR GOOD!

    How can you be so cynic? They do it for your own good. If they lose their revenue stream to alternative accessory manufacturers, they will lose their ability to make such perfect and innovative and godly computers, media players, phones, and so on.

    You should be grateful, and maybe you also should buy TWO of every item they sell, because they deserve to be helped.

  8. Velv

    New Car

    I've just bought a new car. It's a nice car. Shiny. Comfortable. Sleek, some would say sexy. Lots of people look at it and want one.

    Trouble is the petrol filler is fitted with a special device that stops you using normal petrol pumps. I have to go to a main dealer to buy my petrol, as they are the only place with the required nozzle to fill the tank. And there's only 10 dealers in the UK. Can't even use

    Want one of these cars now ?

    Yeah, you're a fanbois, you probably do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns


      Although a fairly good analogy you are actually describing a real car.. the Gee-Wiz, to add to the similarities, its only cool to be people who own them, everyone else thinks 'eh?'

      1. Nigel 11
        Thumb Down

        Difference beteween patent and copyright?

        In the UK there was a lawsuit which established the right to manufacture replacement exhaust pipes which appeared to be exact copies of the manufacturer's original. The ruling was that if the shape of the car body dictated the shape of the exhaust pipe leaving no free choices, then the "copy" did not breach copyright. Minor differences such as the position of welded joints and the internal structure of the baffles proved that it was not a copy, just a re-implemetation.

        However, exhaust pipe connectors are not patented. Maybe it's different for a patented electrical connector - the owner of the patent has a monopoly on its manufacture, and is not obliged to sell the connector to anyone else at a reasonable price or even at any price? That obligation or lack thereof would be addressed under monopoly regulation.

        Personally I'd have thought a magnetic electrical connector trivial, and therefore unpatentable. But you'd have to pay so much to lawyers to bust the patent, it wouldn't be worth trying. There's a market opportunity here for a small start-up limited company. Just sell the things and pay yourself and your workers a salary. (Preferably, by mail order from, say, China). If Apple sue and you go bust, you've lost nothing much. Let them play whack-a-mole!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      I just love these silly repetitive comments

      You don't plug a magsafe into the mains dumbo. You plug a mains plug into the mains.

      mains plug = filler cap

      Petrol pump nozzle = mains socket.

      Try to think of a more sensible (and original) argument next time.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    By the sounds of it, HyperMac hadn't bothered to license the MagSafe design from Apple and that's a clear breach of IP law. Apple are just doing what all companies would do and forcing them to remove the goods from sale.

    If HyperMac want to sell MagSafe-compatible devices then they need to get their people to talk to Apple's people and see if the Big Fruit wants to play ball and how much the ball will cost.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Do you need a license...

      ... to cut off a genuine Apple lead and wire it into something else? Because that's all that HyperMac did with respect to the connectors.

  10. ShaggyDoggy


    1. You can't copyright a 3 dimensional object - Coca Cola tried that with their bottle

    2. How is the Apple patent being infringed when they are using genuine Apple-manufactured parts ?

  11. JaitcH

    Jobs couldn't copy Chinese tablets or even copy Japanese rice cooker connectors, either

    Funny how millions of these connectors have been successfully manufactured for use on water boiling units, rice cookers, etc. - all with minimal problems.

    Yet Apple has had nothing but problems including frayed cords, burned contacts, shorted contacts, etc. Once again Jobs tried to make something unique with a single source supplier, aka monopoly, but failed.

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