Apple to End OS X Intel Atom Support to Block Hackintosh Community

mac-intelApple is in a constant battle with unlockers in the form of both independent enthusiasts and rival companies. It recently succeeded in killing iPhone jailbreaking for the time being and cutting off the Palm Pre from iTunes. However, to its dismay, Psystar is selling a software hack to trick Apple’s Snow Leopard OS into being easily installed on PCs.

Now, Apple is reportedly preparing a new release of OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.2) to try to kill a growing section of the Hackintosh community.

Hackintosh users typically purchase more affordable machines and then install Snow Leopard, essentially getting a Mac or OS X multi-boot machine without Apple’s luxury prices. There’s little Apple can do about that on a simple level, as it uses much of the same hardware. However, some in the OS X hacking community have recently been putting Snow Leopard and other versions of OS X on netbooks.

In order to cut down on the possibility of Hackintosh netbooks in the wild, Apple will reportedly kill support for the Intel Atom processor with its OS X 10.6.2 (Snow Leopard) and 10.5.9 (Leopard) updates. Its unclear if the move is also an indication that Apple is planning on avoiding Intel’s popular mobile CPU for its own future products, such as a potential netbook or the upcoming Apple tablet.

For now the best option for those with netbook Hackintoshes is to stay on the current version and not install the update. The community is actively discussing work-arounds though to restore this functionality.

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