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3G-enabled MacBooks in development?

updated 09:20 am EST, Mon November 3, 2008

3G-enabled MacBooks?

Apple's next move in terms of MacBooks will be to add built-in 3G connectivity, says analyst Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics. Mawston contends it is a "logical next step" for Apple, and that the technology could be added to the Pro, Air, and/or regular notebooks. The incentive would be not so much outstanding demand, as the ability of carriers in the US and Europe to sell Macs to people who have already been lured to a phone network by the iPhone.

Mawston suggests that MacBooks could receive HSDPA receivers as soon as the next Macworld Expo, which is scheduled for early January. The change is believed to be unlikely though, as Apple only recently revealed new aluminum MacBooks, and the company has typically refused to issue hardware refreshes within such a short space of time. UK retailer Carphone Warehouse is rumored to have added Macs to its inventory system, though this could be related to the company's investment in Best Buy.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -7

    Great!

    Just what customers are demanding! They could just start lowering prices rather than adding features useful to a select few. Nah, that's too obvious.

    You can tell Apple is running out of things to shove in there to keep the prices high. What's next, fingerprint readers? (nah, that's too PC-ish). I know, built-in retina scanners for login! c***, you can do that with the iSight.

    And how do you think AT&T would take to this? They're already whining about the iPhone taking up its data bandwidth...

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    logical next step...

    Let's see, I have an analyst, some bullets and a gun...I know, the logical next step is to put the bullets in the analyst using the gun. [i]The incentive would be not so much outstanding demand[/i]...for such an action but the sheer pleasure of shutting up an analyst through the applied use of ultra-violence.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: Great!

    com on, Apple has always minimized ports and bloat, if they want to add this it has to be important for there sales. Network operators could subsidize the Macbooks and that is not so bad, lowering profit is not a good decision right now. A low cost Touch-tablet could be the next step, i certainly hope so.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    testudo

    It's all about margins. Adding 3G probably doesn't add much to the price, so leaving it out wouldn't enable them to drop the price a whole lot, but adding it makes the product more attractive.

    It's not just about the few who definitely need it, but the many who may want it because they feel that they will probably need it at some point (myself included).

  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Good Idea

    I applaud this move, if it happens. I find it bizarre that I can check my email anywhere I want from my iPhone, but not from my MacBook Pro. It's a consumer disconnect.

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    testudo

    Every post you make suggests you hate Macs and Apple. Why the h*** do you read MacNN, and post so prolifically, if you aren't a Mac fan?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Re: Good idea

    I find it bizarre that I can check my email anywhere I want from my iPhone, but not from my MacBook Pro. It's a consumer disconnect.

    And blame ATT for that, since they're the ones not letting you tether your iPhone to your mac.

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    testudo

    Who pays you to make negative comments? Is this your professional occupation? I agree with you sometimes but the negative pattern is obvious.

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Good Idea

    I've wanted the tethering iPhone or this. This would clearly be better than tethering. I don't like having an AT&T card sticking out. This isn't a stupid idea if we're already able to do it with aircards. We just need the network to be there for us and plans that are affordable for the occasional traveler. I'm hanging on to my 1 GHz 12" PB as long as I can: A portable on which I can run desktop apps which the iPhone never will, and get email and web.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    why integrated?

    While I like the idea of having that connectivity from my laptop, why does it have to be integrated? It's bad enough that I'm locked into a single carrier with a $200 phone. Am I now going to be locked into a carrier by a $2000 laptop? How compatible across carriers is this technology (I really don't know). If I switch from Verizon to ATT, will I need a new laptop, too?

    Isn't this the exact sort of thing the ExpressCard slot is for? If I switch carriers I just get a new card. If I travel overseas I can rent a card that's compatible with whatever system they have there.

    ExpressCard could also solve many other issues people seem to have like no FireWire, not enough USB ports, no eSATA port, etc. Aren't all of these things addressed by various ExpressCard options?

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