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Apple considering built-in 3G for MacBook Airs?

updated 09:15 pm EST, Mon February 14, 2011

New customer survey includes questions about 3G

A survey being sent out to select MacBook Air owners may reveal that Apple is considering adding native 3G capability to the ultra-portable -- among other possibilities, reports AppleInsider. The survey also asks questions about how users handle syncing data, how often and for what purpose the USB and MiniDisplayPort ports are used, what accessories MBA owners use most often and other such questions.

Another area of interest are the questions about cloud syncing -- using MobileMe, or Dropbox, Google Docs, Windows Live Sync/Windows Briefcase or some of the typical non-cloud methods of syncing like USB thumb drives, external hard drives or "e-mailing documents to myself." Apple's plans for its North Carolina data center are still unclear, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs did promise improvements to MobileMe this year in an e-mail to a questioner.

The questions about 3G compatibility -- how users connect 3G to their MacBook Air presently, and how often they do so -- raise the possibility that Apple may want to add 3G capability to a future version of the Air, or indeed its entire MacBook lineup. When Jobs introduced the revamped Air this past October, he described it as being "the first of a new generation of notebooks."

The survey also asks about specific features of the Air (such as the "FaceTime camera," media control keys, Bluetooth and audio port), and in an unusual question for an Apple survey, asks users what they would change about the MacBook Air to make into a primary computer. [via AppleInsider]

by MacNN Staff




  1. Cronocide

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If this is true...

    It'll be the revolution we've been waiting for since 2002 when Apple came out with the first notebook series with built-in wifi. Hopefully, every MBP will have 4G by 2015.

  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It would be great if every Macbook and Macbook Pro had built-in 3G capability as well as Wifi. Couple that with a no long-term commitment data plan similar to what AT&T has for 3G-capable iPads and you have a laptop that can connect to the Internet almost everywhere you go.

  1. facebook_Kevin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    This was the biggest missing feature I craved.

    Otherwise my new MBA is perfect.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    July, 1999

    802.11/b first appeared in the iBook G3/300MHz almost 12 years ago.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bulletproof synching

    I want an end to using text-only files because other sorts of files are too easily corrupted. The MBA is for on-the-go computing, so its greatness need is hassle-free, bulletproof synching (defined as 'even better than Dropbox') for all documents. Without that, how we connect doesn't matter.

  1. BaiGanyo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Who ever thought of embedding 3G in a device? Im in awe....

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: If this is true...

    It'll be the revolution we've been waiting for since 2002 when Apple came out with the first notebook series with built-in wifi. Hopefully, every MBP will have 4G by 2015.

    It isn't a 'revolution'. At best it's an evolution (wi-fi could be called a revolution, perhaps).

    And it's only been Mac users who've been waiting for this. Other notebook makers have been including internal data modules for a while now.

    Of course, other manufacturers make it an option. I'm sure Apple will make it 'standard', thus making sure they can keep their prices high (it's an $130 option, if you look at iPad pricing).

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And it isn't that big a deal. You can just get an expresscard and stick it in , mostly unseen, without worrying about it.

    Oh, but that would ruin the 'lines' of the computer. And it does require an expresscard slot, which Apple nicely has removed from all those computers.

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    We've waited this long and now that there are 3G and 4G Wifi hotspots I can connect my iPod Touch along with my MacBook Air on the same data plan so I'll just do that instead. Before that I was waiting to tether an iPhone but just gave up. Although this is a good move, it's very overdue.

  1. space-e

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I had a Lucent/Apple card in my WallStreet 292Mhz before the iBook 300...

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