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Downdivx
Jan 15, 2008, 07:11 AM
http://valleywag.com/344830/its-a-macbook-with-att-wireless-built-in

I just found this Valleywag posting which says the "air" comment we keep seeing isn't a new line of laptops but the option to add ATT WAN support, much like Lenovo Thinkpad and other laptops have had for some time. To me, this seems like a much more likely product than a new ultra portable MacBook.

What do you think?

From the post:
"What's the biggest frustration we have with our computers? Right: You can never get online when you need to. I stuck my neck out and told local talk radio host Jon Bristow to watch for an AT&T-equipped MacBook tomorrow. Not just because I want one, but because it has the potential to steal an entirely new market for Apple.

If you've used an EVDO card in a laptop, you know what a life-changing experience it is. Wi-Fi sucks -- it's hard to find, short-range and often tricky to connect. By contrast, you're surprised when your cellular-equipped laptop can't get online. Cellular's ubiquitous, fumble-free access blows away Wi-Fi, despite the phone system's slower network speed. But buying and using an aftermarket wireless card is its own form of hassle, as Gizmodo proved this week by "borrowing" Valleywag's EVDO card right before tomorrow's Steve Jobs show. The things really need to be built-in and seamlessly integrated.

Millions of Apple customers now carry an iPhone -- an OS X computer that connects to AT&T's wireless network. As my pen pal John Gruber wrote today, "After using my iPhone for a few months, it started feeling weird that my PowerBook doesn't have ubiquitous wireless networking. I'd pay for it." Me too, and it would be easy to build iPhone-or-better quality networking into a notebook computer.

Productivity and convenience, boosted to a whole new level. Open your notebook and go online instantly, while everyone else curses at their screens. What other feature could better cause Windows users to switch en masse to Apple, after seeing online MacBook users everywhere around them? "

samh004
Jan 15, 2008, 07:21 AM
Apple is an international company though, the iPhone can be used is other countries... slowly... but if this was just an AT&T card then it'd only be useful in one country. Not very useful.

ReanimationLP
Jan 15, 2008, 07:31 AM
Apple is an international company though, the iPhone can be used is other countries... slowly... but if this was just an AT&T card then it'd only be useful in one country. Not very useful.

Plus then ATTs service is godawful.

Downdivx
Jan 15, 2008, 09:09 AM
Plus then ATTs service is godawful.

At the company I last worked at we bought Lenovo Thinkpads with the WLAN option. Its been a while and I don't have the time to find the current Lenovo offer, but as I recall it was simply a BTO optional wireless card that was compatible with 802.11A,B,G (and now N) plus the ATT data network. I would assume you could get both the current EDGE and G3 network in the current MacBook Pro form factor, so it would be a BTO option. The Lenovo option also did not require you to activate the WLAN radio at time of purchase. Given Apple and ATT's relationship I don't know what to predict would happen with an Apple implementation. The plus side is that it should be easy to implement across the entire Apple portable line - its just a different wireless card.

W

CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 09:18 AM
Most of our HP laptops at work include Verizon WAN cards in them by default, which is nice because it saves us from having to use PC card WAN modems.

If Apple does do it as an internal BTO option (like the original AirPort), then they could offer a different card for each part of the world they have an agreement with.

John Purple
Jan 15, 2008, 09:38 AM
Most of our HP laptops at work include Verizon WAN cards in them by default, which is nice because it saves us from having to use PC card WAN modems.

If Apple does do it as an internal BTO option (like the original AirPort), then they could offer a different card for each part of the world they have an agreement with.

PLEEEEZE no T-Online card for Germany, as T-Online is to my experience the slowest, most expensive provider in Germany with a bad (if any) service.

Fast Shadow
Jan 15, 2008, 09:54 AM
I think there is a very good chance of this being true, in fact I'm almost expecting it: There will be 3G or better connectivity integrated into the revised MBPros.

Downdivx
Jan 15, 2008, 10:25 AM
I think there is a very good chance of this being true, in fact I'm almost expecting it: There will be 3G or better connectivity integrated into the revised MBPros.

I would love to see Apple embrace software radios that can operate on any frequencies and standards. Check out http://www.vanu.com/. These are primarily designed for base stations today, but the technology is improving towards device use. There are obviously be power and size issues that still must be addressed.

W

EDIT: I'm not expecting software radios today - I'm talking about the future