Saturday, March 19, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Why Don’t We Have Cellular MacBooks?

Accidental Tech Podcast has a good discussion about this. I think this would be a very useful feature. It’s great that I can tether my iPhone, but that has so many drawbacks compared with built-in support. And, presumably, a Mac could have the space and power for a better antenna, offering better reception.

There are a number of ways that Mac OS X could be made more friendly to cellular connections. In my view, this process should have been started years ago, even though there were/are no cellular Macs. The same issues apply to tethering, probably moreso, so the lack of cellular Macs is no excuse. (Apparently, recent versions of Apple Mail are getting better in this regard, after regressing.)

Adding a cellular Mac would encourage both Apple and developers to make their software work better with cellular connections, which would also benefit tetherers and (potentially) those with slower non-cellular connections.

Update (2016-03-19): Geoff Hackworth:

I may be wrong, but I think 3G/4G patent licensing is percentage of product price, so too costly for laptops.

5 Comments

I may be wrong, but I think 3G/4G patent licensing is percentage of product price, so too costly for laptops.

1. Other manufacturers have offered cellular support for years, for example Lenovo.

2. It's a business feature … so let users pay for it! I would gladly pay for it, as a I already pay a premium for my iPad's 4G support.

There is no one-size-fits-all model for patent licensing. Apple would presumably be able to negotiate a favorable rate, or more likely, already has a company-wide license to practice many of these 3G/4G patents based on preexisting iPhone license agreements.

"I may be wrong, but I think 3G/4G patent licensing is percentage of product price, so too costly for laptops."

It's not too costly for laptops.

Using Apple Store pricing list:

iPad Pro 128 GB + Wi-Fi -> $949.00
iPad Pro 128 GB + Wi-Fi (and GPS) -> $1,079.00

MacBook Air 128 GB + Wi-Fi -> $899.00

So, based on the assumption patent licensing is a percentage of product price, a cellular MacBook Air would still be cheaper than a cellular iPad Pro with the same capacity.

[…] even on my list. I want more storage and RAM, better performance, more ports, a larger screen, and cellular. I fear that Apple is going to trade some or all of those for thinness, while also making the […]

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment