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MacRumors
Jan 16, 2008, 12:29 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

After talking to others about the MacBook Air yesterday, one common theme seems to be appearing... the lack of mobile broadband (3G) is a deal breaker for many.

As I told many people yesterday... if the MacBook Air had included any sort of 3G internet connection, I would have bought one instantly. No questions asked. I probably would have loaded up on SSD Flash as well, knowing it would be my primary mobile device. But with the lack of 3G, I see no compelling reason to move off from my MacBook, which also has a 3G USB dongle hanging off its side.

Perhaps this is a skewed view of the world at the Macworld Expo, where there's a high concentration of power-users and bloggers, but it's a practical consideration for a product that is supposed to be an "ultra" mobile device.

In the days leading up to the event, it was clear that Apple was coming out with a super thin MacBook... but the lack of reliable 3G/WiMax rumors concerned me. In the days before I had hoped the "Air" name would refer to more than just the lightness of the device.

Some have suggested that Apple will be heading down this path later this year, though that would certainly annoy some of the early adopters of the MacBook Air. There are plans in place by Intel to start launching WiMax chipsets around mid year. The iPhone itself is rumored to be getting 3G towards the middle of the year.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/16/lack-of-3g-a-deal-breaker-no-not-talking-about-iphone/)

sartinsauce
Jan 16, 2008, 12:34 PM
What kind of track record does Apple have with any WiMax providers?

justflie
Jan 16, 2008, 12:38 PM
I think there's a USB to Expresscard adapter. Then you can plug in your 3G card, right? I mean, sure, that's kind of annoying. But it's still possible. Don't fret! :)

sailnavy
Jan 16, 2008, 12:41 PM
I was pretty disappointed. No ethernet/no 3G with at&t... just seemed odd. Jobs must have a minion to haul the laptop with the 3G dongle, and the cord around.

Sbrocket
Jan 16, 2008, 12:46 PM
I'm not sure. There was no reliable information leading up to the release that indicated the Air would include anything like 3G or WiMax...just the reactions of forum posters to the "There's something in the air" posters and their guesses about what it could mean. I think something that big would have been leaked quicker than stuff like the external drive was being such a big feature, so I don't really see a reasonable expectation for it. Certainly it would be nice for some potential buyers, but that could be said about a lot of features.

I wouldn't be someone to see the use in it anyways since my whole campus is wired for 802.1x-authed wireless and ethernet ports abound, not to mention that 3G is non-existant here.

Spades
Jan 16, 2008, 12:54 PM
It may be a piece of crap otherwise, but I think the Kindle has set a new expectation for what wireless connectivity really means.

Orng
Jan 16, 2008, 01:17 PM
I think there's a USB to Expresscard adapter. Then you can plug in your 3G card, right? I mean, sure, that's kind of annoying. But it's still possible. Don't fret! :)

I think the point is that he is already using a dongle workaround with a MBP; Since the MBA doesn't solve this problem, there is no point in getting an MBA.

slipkidcmh
Jan 16, 2008, 01:42 PM
Two comments:

1. MacBook Air should be thought of as an equivalent to the original iMac. This is a simple, sleek machine that's not really meant for power users.

2. I learned from Apple long ago not to buy their first generation products. The features and capabilities that get added on the first upgrade are worth the wait.

xenotaku
Jan 16, 2008, 01:49 PM
It may be a piece of crap otherwise, but I think the Kindle has set a new expectation for what wireless connectivity really means.

Absolutely, I dont own one, but the Kindle's feature of always connected is amazing. Every laptop should have this feature.

tgildred
Jan 16, 2008, 01:56 PM
...conference room full of bloggers finds something to complain about. Details at 11.

Leo74
Jan 16, 2008, 02:26 PM
Of course that would all be solved if Apple would let the iPhone work as a modem in tandem with their laptops, which they oddly allow other phones to do (the main reason I have not jumped on the iPhone bandwagon.) These days at Apple, bottom line decisions are taking over consumer benefit decisions way too often for my taste.

RichP
Jan 16, 2008, 02:27 PM
I really wish this machine had a killer feature in it that would make me want to buy it. Multitouch trackpad is cool but I am sure that will be in all the machines within 6 months. 3G built in would have been nice. Or a crazy battery life spec. Or just something that really made this machine stand out to the current apple offerings (besides its size.

mainstreetmark
Jan 16, 2008, 02:31 PM
The REAL solution for this is, of course, not to load up your machine with some cellphone stuffs, but to allow the iPhone to function as the wireless bluetooth modem. That way, even us honkin big MBP owners can be wirelessly on the net.

Not even the hackers seem concerned about making the iPhone do this. Is it even possible with a software hack?

illitrate23
Jan 16, 2008, 02:33 PM
Absolutely, I dont own one, but the Kindle's feature of always connected is amazing. Every laptop should have this feature.
really?
the kindle has a battery life of a week. switch on the always-connected function and that drops to 2 days

the macbook air currently has 4-5 hours battery life
if you added the same kind of connectivity you'd be looking at.... what... about three quarters of an hour before you needed to plug it in?
AND the kindles data connection to sprint is paid for because you'll keep on downloading newspapers and books which you pay for and the price includes the cost of the 3g connection to Sprint.
there's no similar subscription based data for the Air, so either Apple would have had to include another $500 or more on the price of the machine, whether you live in a 3g/edge/whatever area or not
OR they'd tie you into an 18-month data contract with AT&T a la the iPhone

and you can imagine how much complaining that would have brought about on this forum

KindredMAC
Jan 16, 2008, 03:13 PM
3G this and 3G that....

I am SO sick of everyone spewing the new catch phrase of "3G" to use as a weapon against Apple.

#1- 3G networks are not wide spread in the US yet. Do you know how long ago AT&T/Cingular said we would have 3G coverage in New York State. Try almost 2 years ago. How many people that use "3G" as a tidbit actually live in an area where 3G is available???

#2- WiFi hotspots have become so prevalent across this country that they are almost easier to find than a good cell reception. Try driving down the street in any area with your iPhones on and start scanning for WiFi locations. You will find that you will be inundated with LINKSYS router after LINKSYS router of businesses that offer free hotspots.

Last night on The Loop, the one guest mentioned how he was disappointed by the lack of 3G in the Air. I thought I was going to put my foot through the television. What kind of complaint is this?

It's like me saying, "Geez, this laptop is crap because it doesn't come with Adobe Creative Suite pre-installed because I'm a graphic designer and Apple should know that I, of all people, need that to come on my laptop."

Here's the thing.... I would NEVER THINK of running CS3 on the Air. There are limitations to all things "special". This is a "Special" laptop that is not intended to appeal to the masses. Just as 3G does not appeal to the masses when the known 3G networks in America only cover a small percentage of the entire country...

Please to present AT&T's 3G in BLUE:
http://www.xti9.com/att/att3gsmall.gif

justflie
Jan 16, 2008, 03:15 PM
I think the point is that he is already using a dongle workaround with a MBP; Since the MBA doesn't solve this problem, there is no point in getting an MBA.

yeah, I just noticed that. That's what I get for not reading the article! :)

Justinerator
Jan 16, 2008, 03:26 PM
yeah, this is pretty disappointing. One of the many features the mba is lacking.

tominated
Jan 16, 2008, 03:44 PM
If they ddid have 3g, they wouldn't be able to release it in some countries at first. In australia, Telsta (one of the major telcos) is pushing to replace 3g with NextG (3.5G or HSDPA)

sebastianlewis
Jan 16, 2008, 03:46 PM
Um... Arn, while I understand your point of view, I'm of the opinion that until the US cellular market isn't divided into 2 technology camps (CDMA/EVDO and GSM/UMTS) that wireless broadband should never be built in... a USB dongle, well I'd never use one, but an ExpressCard slot wouldn't have hurt though it's kind of cramped already.

Sebastian

Queso
Jan 16, 2008, 03:49 PM
3G this and 3G that....

I am SO sick of everyone spewing the new catch phrase of "3G" to use as a weapon against Apple.

#1- 3G networks are not wide spread in the US yet.
Yeah, not in the US. But in the rest of the developed world 3G coverage is excellent. You wonder why iPhone sales are so bad in Europe? Because we aren't going to throw out our much faster two year old 3G handsets and go back to something far slower. It'll be the same in Japan when they launch there. No 3G, no sale.

guifa
Jan 16, 2008, 03:57 PM
I must have missed something. Did they disable bluetooth on the MacBook Air? Because I know I have no trouble surfing with 3G with my Mac through my Bluetooth connection, and it works great. Just because the iPhone doesn't let you share internet via Bluetooth doesn't mean other companies' phones prevent you. (the sad thing is when I hooked up my N70 and installed its software it had better Mac<->phone features than the iPhone, with quite natural-feeling native Mac interfaces)

illitrate23
Jan 16, 2008, 04:47 PM
Yeah, not in the US. But in the rest of the developed world 3G coverage is excellent.not in the uk either
sure, it's fine in the big town - works great in london - i get on the train home, and it drops in and out
oddly enough, i think i'm seeing better Edge coverage on my iphone with O2 that i was seeing 3G coverage on my sony ericsson with virgin media.

takao
Jan 16, 2008, 05:55 PM
well one of 3G most used features is using it for laptops .. according to the TV they even sell more of those USB dongle 3G modems than actual cellular phones with 3G.. heck they already offer some skins in retail for those dongles so that not all look the same...

i can point to at least half a dozen friends who use those as their primary internet


needless to say in the german baords i've looked around an aweful lot mroe complain about the lack of 3G ... even more since you can't simply add an internal card (PCMIA or whatever) to the Air


i know people from the US don't understand it but for a high class laptop this is becoming a must feature in europa ... either built in (like sony) or at least addable internally

prestowk
Jan 16, 2008, 06:33 PM
Why embed this technology into a notebook? Everyone will have a mobile phone to go with it, so let the notebook connect to the internet through the phone, over Bluetooth. Whenever the mobile phone network technology changes, you change your phone, but your notebook still keeps working over Bluetooth. I don't want 3G in my Macbook.

lshaner
Jan 16, 2008, 09:15 PM
I've been a long proponent that ALL of the MacBook(Pro) models should include an internal bay for an embedded 3G daughter card.

I use an ExpressCard34 EvDO card in my MBP... However, I would much prefer to leave the slot free and, instead, see Apple offer the USER the option to install any of these...or similar devices:

http://www.novatelwireless.com/products/expedite/index.html

I just don't like having crap sticking out of the side of my Mac. :-(

pmpknetr21
Jan 16, 2008, 09:41 PM
I'm so glad that you said what you said, KindredMac.

I get so P*SSED at this time of year because everybody comes up with a reason to b**ch and complain. GET OVER IT! It's the first generation. They'll get better. Oh, the MBA's not for you? WHO CARES!? Keep it to yourself.

As for 3G: it's over rated and underdeveloped. You can't get it anywhere. Even in my hometown of NYC it's scarce.

Why can't you guys just accept it for what it is? A niche product for CERTAIN road warriors or people who want some somthin' super light. It's like people complaining about the Mac mini... DUDE! It wasn't meant for you. It was meant for my 65 year old mother who wants a machine that won't crash and doesn't want to worry about spyware.

Give Apple Credit where credit is due: it's a PHENOMENAL first attempt since the 12" Powerbook and iBook at the ultra-portable market. It'll get better with time.

Mr Fusion
Jan 16, 2008, 10:04 PM
3G this and 3G that....

I am SO sick of everyone spewing the new catch phrase of "3G" to use as a weapon against Apple.
There's an easy solution to that. "Apple, meet 3G. 3G, meet Apple." :D

#1- 3G networks are not wide spread in the US yet.
Thank you for the map. It appears to be in enough cities for me [including mine] so what's the problem? Are we waiting until every prairie dog in Wyoming has coverage too? :rolleyes:

#2- WiFi hotspots have become so prevalent across this country that they are almost easier to find than a good cell reception. Try driving down the street in any area with your iPhones on and start scanning for WiFi locations. You will find that you will be inundated with LINKSYS router after LINKSYS router of businesses that offer free hotspots.
You are right, depending on what public place I'm at I can usually find between 3 and 10 wireless networks around. Problem is almost every last one of them either needs a password that I don't have, connects but can't get an IP address, or costs [$]. If I'm already paying for a data plan why would I pay for WiFi? :(

zioxide
Jan 17, 2008, 12:28 AM
It's kind of funny. The people who are saying "I'm sick and tired of people using 3G as a complaint against Apple" are the same people who in other threads are saying "Apple got rid of the ethernet and all of the other ports because they're focusing on the future, making it wireless!" Well guess what. If you want to make the thing wireless, then it needs 3G or EV-DO.

If Apple is really trying to be advanced in their **** (like getting rid of the floppy, being one of the first to have 802.11b, etc) then they should have had 3G for a couple of years now. Other companies have had it. The other funny thing is that when Apple finally puts it in their laptops, they'll hail it as innovation! ZOMG WE'RE THE FIRST! Just like they were the first to make a notebook that thin, right? Nope. Sony made one a few years ago (It was only released in Japan).

And to the people who say 3G/EV-DO not widespread enough yet: it's getting there. It's in every major city. My phone has EV-DO (3 year old moto that does more than iPhone) and I have EV-DO service everywhere. There's only one place that I can think of where I didn't have it.. and it was way out near UMass Amherst.

guifa
Jan 17, 2008, 07:41 AM
#1- 3G networks are not wide spread in the US yet. Do you know how long ago AT&T/Cingular said we would have 3G coverage in New York State. Try almost 2 years ago. How many people that use "3G" as a tidbit actually live in an area where 3G is available??
Probably most people who live outside the US in a western European or Asian market (which would be Apple's biggest markets after the US). Just because the US has bad coverage (in part due to the government, T-Mobile has been ready to roll out their network, but the government still hasn't vacated the airwaves) doesn't mean the rest of us living outside of the US don't have good coverage either. Since you brought in the coverage map, I'm including the GSM/3G coverage maps. Should be obvious which is GSM vs 3G coverage on them. But note that the UK, Spain, Ireland, France, Portugal, Denmark, Italy, Sweden and Germany all have coverage to what amounts to well over 50% of their geography and significantly more (probably close to 80%) of their population due to population distribution in Europe. So I'd say a lot of us live in areas with 3G.

The Asia map is as of December 2006, and the Europe is as of January 2007. Undoubtedly the coverage area is even higher now.


#2- WiFi hotspots have become so prevalent across this country that they are almost easier to find than a good cell reception. Try driving down the street in any area with your iPhones on and start scanning for WiFi locations. You will find that you will be inundated with LINKSYS router after LINKSYS router of businesses that offer free hotspots.
Here in Spain, most internet providers give people their routers, ad they come prelocked. On the modem is a sticker giving you the name of the network (normally WLAN_XX where XX are the last two digits of the MAC address) and the password. It's more or less hard coded into the router (though I've not looked into very hard, I couldn't figure out at a glance how to change the password or security option), so while you can be in downtown Madrid and see a hundred networks, every single one of them is locked.

Last night on The Loop, the one guest mentioned how he was disappointed by the lack of 3G in the Air. I thought I was going to put my foot through the television. What kind of complaint is this?

It's like me saying, "Geez, this laptop is crap because it doesn't come with Adobe Creative Suite pre-installed because I'm a graphic designer and Apple should know that I, of all people, need that to come on my laptop."

I agree with this though. Because you can get your internet via bluetooth with nearly any 3G phone, there's no reason to put it in your computer as well. Not to mention the annoyance people would have at Apple if it wasn't a octuple-band or however many different frequencies the world is going to end up using for 3G-band antennae. I know I probably won't be able to use my phone for 3G when I go back to the states because of the available of frequencies when they were bought up. I'd hate to have to buy a whole new MBA or pay Apple for a costly upgrade when I could just get a new phone which I'd probably be doing anyways. Ditto for when things start switching to 3.5G and 4G down the road.

entropys
Jan 17, 2008, 08:26 PM
Agree that 3g or EVDO should not be built in by default, as it is not the solution everywhere.

However, using an USB dongle is not elegant, and damned annoying considering there is a hatch to access the USB port.
there should have been either:

provision for an internal card
an extrnal card slot
enabling the iphone to provide edge access via bluetooth (and future 3G iphone similar)

pmpknetr21
Jan 17, 2008, 09:47 PM
It's kind of funny. The people who are saying "I'm sick and tired of people using 3G as a complaint against Apple" are the same people who in other threads are saying "Apple got rid of the ethernet and all of the other ports because they're focusing on the future, making it wireless!" Well guess what. If you want to make the thing wireless, then it needs 3G or EV-DO.

If Apple is really trying to be advanced in their **** (like getting rid of the floppy, being one of the first to have 802.11b, etc) then they should have had 3G for a couple of years now. Other companies have had it. The other funny thing is that when Apple finally puts it in their laptops, they'll hail it as innovation! ZOMG WE'RE THE FIRST! Just like they were the first to make a notebook that thin, right? Nope. Sony made one a few years ago (It was only released in Japan).

And to the people who say 3G/EV-DO not widespread enough yet: it's getting there. It's in every major city. My phone has EV-DO (3 year old moto that does more than iPhone) and I have EV-DO service everywhere. There's only one place that I can think of where I didn't have it.. and it was way out near UMass Amherst.

[BEGIN PRAYER]
God... I try so hard not to get hyped-up about these things because I know how my fellow Mac enthusiasts and I can get, but I can't help this one. You know I hardly ever post anything; I hold my tongue. So please don't take this personal but...[END PRAYER]

This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. You don't include a feature in a product because it's the latest and greatest thing. You include it because the market that you want to appeal to will find it useful. The people who will go after the MBA will NOT be those that give a C**P about 3G. Put 3G in because "it's getting there"? Are you crazy? If you use that logic, then Ford should make a car that runs on sugar-cane/ethanol like what Brazil uses. Who cares that ethanol fuel stations are NOT available anywhere in the US. It's the coolest thing, so let's build it into the car and sell it to the .01% of the population that thinks it's cool to have it.

Come on man, Think Different.

FX120
Jan 17, 2008, 10:03 PM
3G this and 3G that....

I am SO sick of everyone spewing the new catch phrase of "3G" to use as a weapon against Apple.

#1- 3G networks are not wide spread in the US yet. Do you know how long ago AT&T/Cingular said we would have 3G coverage in New York State. Try almost 2 years ago. How many people that use "3G" as a tidbit actually live in an area where 3G is available???

#2- WiFi hotspots have become so prevalent across this country that they are almost easier to find than a good cell reception. Try driving down the street in any area with your iPhones on and start scanning for WiFi locations. You will find that you will be inundated with LINKSYS router after LINKSYS router of businesses that offer free hotspots.

Last night on The Loop, the one guest mentioned how he was disappointed by the lack of 3G in the Air. I thought I was going to put my foot through the television. What kind of complaint is this?

It's like me saying, "Geez, this laptop is crap because it doesn't come with Adobe Creative Suite pre-installed because I'm a graphic designer and Apple should know that I, of all people, need that to come on my laptop."

Here's the thing.... I would NEVER THINK of running CS3 on the Air. There are limitations to all things "special". This is a "Special" laptop that is not intended to appeal to the masses. Just as 3G does not appeal to the masses when the known 3G networks in America only cover a small percentage of the entire country...


That's because AT&T has a horrible network.

Sprint has EV-DO rolled out in something like 80% of it's coverage area, and Verizon is right behind them.

I haven't been anywhere, and not been able to get a EVDO connection through my Mogul, including a small town about 40 minutes off the interstate with a population of only about 3000.

I live in a town of about 1 million, and even with city wide "free" wifi, finding a good reliable connection is not as easy as it sounds unless you're sitting at a starbucks. I use the internet for buisness, and sometimes when I really need to send an email or download a document on the go, I don't have 10 minutes to go wondering around town looking for free wifi.

Other companies like Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Sony ect offer the option of built in 3G in a few of their notebooks, why can't Apple do it as a BTO option?

pmpknetr21
Jan 17, 2008, 10:22 PM
Other companies like Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Sony ect offer the option of built in 3G in a few of their notebooks, why can't Apple do it as a BTO option?

Could be a couple of factors: Maybe because the MBA is too thin? Or because it's a niche product and the cost of offering it to the miniscule number of people that may want it is more than what it's worth?

Not too mention, the MBA is not for that market. For those who need it, Apple offers the MBP with the ExpressCard slot. Or, you can get the USB dongle from Sprint, etc. Ugly? Yes. But it does the job without having to further re-engineer the portable. Apple's portable's are so popular because they're simple and elegant in their minimalist design. To offer a BTO 3G or EV-DO card goes against that.

Just my 2 cents.

FX120
Jan 18, 2008, 01:15 AM
Could be a couple of factors: Maybe because the MBA is too thin? Or because it's a niche product and the cost of offering it to the miniscule number of people that may want it is more than what it's worth?

Not too mention, the MBA is not for that market. For those who need it, Apple offers the MBP with the ExpressCard slot. Or, you can get the USB dongle from Sprint, etc. Ugly? Yes. But it does the job without having to further re-engineer the portable. Apple's portable's are so popular because they're simple and elegant in their minimalist design. To offer a BTO 3G or EV-DO card goes against that.

Just my 2 cents.

I think you're completely backwards.

What is more simple and minimalist? Using the only USB port on the thing for (yet another) external dongle? Or just letting the people who are interested go through the BTO process on Apple's website, which isn't exactly new, and already part of the MBA process if you want the SSD.

I think the "target" market for the MBA is obviously people who are on the go a lot, and those are the exact people who are most likely to use a cellular internet option. There is obviously a market for this, based on the number of people who request it, and the fact that it is available in nearly every other ultra portable laptop these days.

Personally I would of rather seen an extra 1/8th of an inch of thickness in the front, it have one more USB port, and a BTO cellular option. Apple might be getting my sale in that case, even it was more expensive, but they're not.

Instead, I might getting a Dell XPS M1330, in part due to the fact that there is a cellular broadband option available. It would save me the hassle of having to tether my cell all the time.

koobcamuk
Jan 18, 2008, 03:45 AM
Yeah, not in the US. But in the rest of the developed world 3G coverage is excellent. You wonder why iPhone sales are so bad in Europe? Because we aren't going to throw out our much faster two year old 3G handsets and go back to something far slower. It'll be the same in Japan when they launch there. No 3G, no sale.

Ditto. It's not our fault the USA is behind. Hurry up... :rolleyes:

Not even the hackers seem concerned about making the iPhone do this. Is it even possible with a software hack?

Yeh, I used to do it before I got bored and sold my iPhone.

Vmaatta
Jan 18, 2008, 04:21 AM
The MBA has Bluetooth.. your phone has bluetooth. So what seems to be the problem here :confused:

You connect using your phone as a modem for the MBA. No ugly dongle, no wires. You use whatever network and company you happen to be in.

Why should Apple put a 3G or EV-DO or GSM or whatever in the MBA :eek:. It would only bring up price and it would only be a solution to a fraction of the customers. There's so many different phone networks and standards and they change fast that there's no point putting one of those chips in the MBA. Let your phone do the work of connecting.

DTphonehome
Jan 18, 2008, 10:16 AM
...If you use that logic, then Ford should make a car that runs on sugar-cane/ethanol like what Brazil uses. Who cares that ethanol fuel stations are NOT available anywhere in the US. It's the coolest thing, so let's build it into the car and sell it to the .01% of the population that thinks it's cool to have it.

Come on man, Think Different.

Actually, that IS what US car companies are doing...it costs them a couple hundred bucks at most to make a car ready for ethanol use (just some fuel system modifications). There are about 7 million cars on US roads right now that can take ethanol. GM calls them "Flex-Fuel". While ethanol stations are mostly located in the Midwest right now, they are expanding outward as demand grows.

John Jacob
Jan 18, 2008, 10:42 AM
I just don't understand why anyone in their right mind would want 3G built into their notebook computer. Just tether your cellphone to the computer via bluetooth, instead.

Advantages:
1. You don't need to pay for TWO cellular connections. I'm assuming everyone has a cellphone for voice (hey, it is the 21st century after all).
2. You are not tied to a particular operator or network. You can choose the network (CDMA, EDGE, UMTS) and operator that is best suited to your location.

Of course, this won't work if you have an iPhone. And if you have an ultrafast 3G connection (a fast HSDPA network for example), bluetooth may actually be slower than your 3G speed. But I don't think that would happen unless you live in a remote area and within sight of a cellphone tower.

FX120
Jan 18, 2008, 03:53 PM
Tethering over bluetooth is a major PITA with any phone/ computer combination I have used. The only reliable and consistant method I have found is a USB cable.

Options are always good, Dell offers modems from the 3 major mobile data providers, so that isn't an issue.

Cost wise it doesn't make a difference. Phone as modem services are currently an extra $60 a month for unlimited data, and to add a mobile data plan for my notebook would be $60 a month. Either way I end up paying that $60 a month.

HyperZboy
Jan 18, 2008, 04:17 PM
Absolutely, I dont own one, but the Kindle's feature of always connected is amazing. Every laptop should have this feature.

RE: Kindle... You just said a mouthful..... "I don't own one" LOL
Wouldn't it be nice if there were more people who own one to defend it?

RE: MacBook Air... And I wish this 3G whining would stop from you dorks.

How many times does Steve Jobs have to say it to get it into peoples' thick skulls?... The size and power requirements for 3G did or does not exist for these devices as of yet! It will soon. DUH!

Between the people complaining about the size of their clumsy 3G dongle bricks and the people whining about one not being inside the MacBook Air, I think I want to pull all my hair out.

My suggestion... Climb into your time machine and all your wishes will be granted!

:-)

lamadude
Jan 18, 2008, 04:48 PM
I just don't understand why anyone in their right mind would want 3G built into their notebook computer. Just tether your cellphone to the computer via bluetooth, instead.

Advantages:
1. You don't need to pay for TWO cellular connections. I'm assuming everyone has a cellphone for voice (hey, it is the 21st century after all).
2. You are not tied to a particular operator or network. You can choose the network (CDMA, EDGE, UMTS) and operator that is best suited to your location.


It's true of course that you can use your 3G phone with bluetooth. I'm using my macbook with a bluetooth connection to my SE k800i right now, works like a charm.
But the problem is, at least here in Belgium, that data connection rates for mobile phones are WAY more expensive than for laptop 3G solutions. I don't know why, since it's essentially the same thing, but the data rates for sim cards to put in 3g modems or pccards (and which don't work on phones) are way cheaper here...

ahaxton
Jan 18, 2008, 08:20 PM
You know what would be cool is if they came out with these two things:


A 3G usb dongle for the MacBook Air
Share your 3G MacBook Air connection with your version 1 iPhone

Version 2 iPhone built in 3G with sharing capabilities to your MacBook Air



From the way it seems the MacBook Air really is revolutionary and the launch of the product itself is just the beginning. I think the whole "wireless world" they are going to go crazy on this year. The way the MacBook air was presented during the keynote totally shows how Apple envisions the future. I bet as the iPhone is improved, so will the MacBook air and they will become partners :) I think this year as the iPhone announcements come, so will all the cool stuff for the MacBook air.

I'm surprised more people aren't realizing the keynote unveiling the macbook air was very different from a keynote unveiling a new laptop. Apple's vision is unveiling.

markie
Jan 19, 2008, 02:56 AM
"If they ddid have 3g, they wouldn't be able to release it in some countries at first. In australia, Telsta (one of the major telcos) is pushing to replace 3g with NextG (3.5G or HSDPA)"

They aren't replacing, they're complementing. Australia has both the US and Euro phone bands. Telstra started with 3G UMTS in the Euro 3G (2100MHz) band. It's a pretty high frequency so covering rural areas with this is hard.

They added US cellular (850 MHz) UMTS. To distinguish it they're calling it NextG - to indicate you need a phone with the 850MHz band to use this coverage.

This is the *same band* AT&T is deploying 3G on here stateside...

HSDPA is a high speed, totally backwards compatible, upgrade to UMTS.

What Apple needed to include was a modem with 850/900/1800/1900 GSM and 850/1700/1900/2100 UMTS.

That'd have been the answer to all our connectivity needs. But it would be limited to EDGE in rural areas like where I live (or if it was locked to AT&T I'd have nothing - the only GSM carrier here is Chinook).

The other option is 3G CDMA (EVDO). There is MUCH more 3G CDMA coverage since it's a much easier, cheaper upgrade. Alltel and Verizon both have 3G CDMA here. But that truly does limit them to a few countries (and a shrinking list... Telstra's NextG 850MHz UMTS is actually replacing 850MHz 3G CDMA...)

BWhaler
Jan 19, 2008, 04:17 AM
I own the latest 17" so I super portable would be a welcome addition.

But the lack of wimax and/or replaceable battery--I travel long distances--is leaving me on the fence with the Air.

If it had wimax, I would have purchased for sure.

With a replaceable battery and no wimax, it would have been 80 percent sure I would have purchased.

But no replaceable battery is a problem. I think I may wait this one out. Sucks because I would have loved to have purchased this.

Bye Bye Baby
Jan 19, 2008, 05:05 AM
This is a first release and first releases are never exactly what you want.

Apple tv is a good example. At least apple does rethink and revise products as things become easier to adopt.

If you want a product with every imaginable feature crammed into it then buy windows or windows supported products and then tell me how usable the whole thing feels. Apple's development is not just about cramming features, it's about getting them to work in the best possible way.

This my whinging friends takes time.

Breckenridge
Jan 19, 2008, 08:40 AM
When Steve Jobs says we are a software company, he really means it. It seems that apple is less innovative on the hardware side and they are just putting together computers with pre-made / pre-tested off the shelve parts. Once you dress standard PC hardware with OS X you get a little pretty thing very few can resist. I wished apple would spend some of it's proclaimed cash reserve to create a truly functional mobile device with constant connectivity and full computing functionality.

gpfradgley
Jan 19, 2008, 03:01 PM
Guys I don't know if anyone has seen but if you live in the UK you can go down to your local Vodafone Store or online at www.vodafone.co.uk and get their new USB MODEM STICK that is so small it will fit MacBook Air fine

Getting your MacBook Air mobile broadband over Vodafone's HSDPA network with speeds of up to 7.2MB. (Average speed around 1.8 -3.5 MB)

The stick is small and white so it will compliment MacBook Air.

I've also noticed that you get 3 months free at the minute too

Hope this info helps

Gaz

davesmall
Jan 19, 2008, 04:55 PM
I used a Nokia N70 for Bluetooth tethering and 3G access on a recent trip to Italy. It was a pain to set up but after a day of fiddling I was able to get it working.

Speed was OK for eMail and web surfing but insufficient for such tasks as accessing my office database in Texas and downloading large files. Cost was also an issue because it wasn't an access unlimited data plan.

When you tether to a cell phone you have to worry about battery life in both the computer and the cell phone. I found that both were depleted rather quickly. The only really satisfactory way to operate was when the computer was on it's charger and the Nokia N70 was on it's charger as well. That's when it worked OK (except for the speed) and I could keep operating for several hours.

Here in the USA I have an iPhone with the Edge network and no tethering. It's costing $59 per month for AT&T's minimum monthly plan. I roll over most of the voice minutes every month. That's because talking on the phone is not my thing. I use the iPhone primarily for stock quotes, web access, an occasional phone call, and maps. I love the iPhone and I truly despise the AT&T pricing model.

I really would like to have wide area Internet access on my 17" MacBook Pro but I don't want to pay yet another $60 per month data plan charge for that. Most of the time I'm within WiFi range so I don't need wide area access every day. But when I do need it I really need it (maybe one or two days a month). Current pricing doesn't fit my needs.

The stuff that's out there now, including MacBook Air, iPhone, and the Bluetooth tethering cell phones like Nokia aren't quite what I want. They're in the neighborhood but they're not really on target.

I'd very definitely like to have wide area connectivity. I'd like it to be faster than 3G and less battery draining the current 3G. I don't want to carry both a cell phone and a computer. I'd like the two of them merged into one with the computer being more important than the cell phone. My ideal would be a computer the size of the MacBook Air but with a higher screen resolution (like the iPhone in terms of pixels per inch). I want 8 to 10 hour battery life and then I don't care whether the battery is user changeable. My ideal computer would have a Bluetooth headset that pulls out of the laptop for making and receiving phone calls. I would not have a separate cell phone. Maybe the wide area connectivity comes from WiMax or G4 or something else.

teh_pwnerer
Jan 20, 2008, 05:28 PM
I live and work in a blue area so I'm pretty disappointed about no 3G.
It's not a "weapon against Apple" but a practical decision as a consumer. I already have a smart phone and a laptop with no built in 3G capability. Both relatively new. Why would get spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone and a new laptop which still don't have 3G?
When Apple releases an HSDPA iPhone and Air I'll get one. Until then, not gonna happen.

a104375
Jan 21, 2008, 10:36 AM
I own the latest 17" so I super portable would be a welcome addition.

But the lack of wimax and/or replaceable battery--I travel long distances--is leaving me on the fence with the Air.

If it had wimax, I would have purchased for sure.

With a replaceable battery and no wimax, it would have been 80 percent sure I would have purchased.

But no replaceable battery is a problem. I think I may wait this one out. Sucks because I would have loved to have purchased this.

You did read that the battery is replaceable all you have to do is take out a few screws and buy the battery online.

Mr. Mustard
Jan 21, 2008, 01:34 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

though that would certainly annoy some of the early adopters of the MacBook Air.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/16/lack-of-3g-a-deal-breaker-no-not-talking-about-iphone/)

Aren't early adopters usually annoyed? Just wait for the dust to settle. There will be a mod/hack if you dare.

thejadedmonkey
Jan 21, 2008, 01:56 PM
You did read that the battery is replaceable all you have to do is take out a few screws and buy the battery online.

Easy to replace ≠ User replaceable.

jayducharme
Jan 21, 2008, 04:28 PM
Absolutely, I dont own one, but the Kindle's feature of always connected is amazing. Every laptop should have this feature.

We're soon probably going to see the game change even more drastically when the FCC auctions off parts of the UHF frequency range. Supposedly, the FCC wants companies to use that frequency to create an open, powerful and pervasive WiFi network across the country. The hardware in computers will probably have to be changed to accomodate it, but the prospects (especially with the Touch) are exciting. The two most prominent bidders at this point are AT&T and Verizon.

mdtsuk
Jan 22, 2008, 11:58 AM
I just don't understand why anyone in their right mind would want 3G built into their notebook computer. Just tether your cellphone to the computer via bluetooth, instead.

Advantages:
1. You don't need to pay for TWO cellular connections. I'm assuming everyone has a cellphone for voice (hey, it is the 21st century after all).
2. You are not tied to a particular operator or network. You can choose the network (CDMA, EDGE, UMTS) and operator that is best suited to your location.

Of course, this won't work if you have an iPhone. And if you have an ultrafast 3G connection (a fast HSDPA network for example), bluetooth may actually be slower than your 3G speed. But I don't think that would happen unless you live in a remote area and within sight of a cellphone tower.

Agreed, In the UK I had the ability to use my MacBook on the train from London through the countryside, into my home town, with very respectable 3G speeds on my Nokia N95. When driving to my parents in the North I could have my TomTom downloading traffic updates constantly, mostly with a strong 3G connection. I went to the Isle of Wight on a farm, miles from any towns, sat on a grass bank by the sea "working from home";) with strong 3G. Come to think about it, I have been able to do this kind of activity for the last 3 years.

Then I got my 'state of the art' iPhone! I love the phone, the software is miles ahead of anything else, but since then I have not been able to do any of this. I am an island (other than email and web browsing), I don't know where the traffic is, I can't work on the road. I have been known to remove the SIM from the iPhone into the N95 in emergencies, but that is so inconvenient.

Laptops don't need 3G (yet)! The iPhone is way behind the times!

My vote is for 3G and tethering on the iPhone.
(I feel like I'm asking for the impossible, but this is not new technology by any stretch of the imagination) :cool:

I live and work in a blue area so I'm pretty disappointed about no 3G.
It's not a "weapon against Apple" but a practical decision as a consumer. I already have a smart phone and a laptop with no built in 3G capability. Both relatively new. Why would get spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone and a new laptop which still don't have 3G?
When Apple releases an HSDPA iPhone and Air I'll get one. Until then, not gonna happen.

Jaunty
Jan 23, 2008, 01:45 AM
here is a BBC article with a take on 3G laptop use from a UK/European perspective

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7200451.stm

deadkenny
Jan 23, 2008, 03:39 AM
The REAL solution for this is, of course, not to load up your machine with some cellphone stuffs, but to allow the iPhone to function as the wireless bluetooth modem. That way, even us honkin big MBP owners can be wirelessly on the net.

Not even the hackers seem concerned about making the iPhone do this. Is it even possible with a software hack?

The iPhone can very well do this. If you install a jailbreak and the BSD subsystem then connect to your iPhone from the PC you may use it's internet Connection. It can serve as a connection sharing point just like a Mac.

Details in this article (german only) http://www.heise.de/mobil/suche/ergebnis?rm=result;q=iphone;url=/mobil/artikel/101884/;

3247
Feb 10, 2008, 10:17 AM
I must have missed something. Did they disable bluetooth on the MacBook Air? Because I know I have no trouble surfing with 3G with my Mac through my Bluetooth connection, and it works great.Bluetooth only allows transmission rates up to 2.1 Mbit/s. That's a bit too slow for HSDPA (usually 3.6 Mbit/s, up to 14.4 Mbit/s).

.adam
Feb 11, 2008, 03:10 AM
I've enjoyed reading this thread; some US readers seem completely unable to grasp the fact that 3G is widespread across other areas (I live in a small town in England and get 3.5G/HSDPA signal all the time).

Just because you don't have a well developed 3G network does not mean that Apple should therefore not include it in their products - there is life outside of the US, guys.

Please stop trying to destroy the argument that Apple should include 3G just because you don't have it. At the very least it should be an option for those who have access to 3G.

a104375
Feb 18, 2008, 10:35 AM
the only problem with 3g is that its not available everywhere in the US some other countries may be more developed on that level but they should have it available for a option

Tosser
Feb 18, 2008, 10:38 AM
the only problem with 3g is that its not available everywhere in the US some other countries may be more developed on that level but they should have it available for a option

And because of that, it will fall back to, say, GSM.

a104375
Feb 18, 2008, 10:52 AM
And because of that, it will fall back to, say, GSM.

right and we probably wont see it at least in the US until its more developed, but in other countries that 3g has developed you might see it in products faster.

EDITED: added clarity

Tosser
Feb 18, 2008, 10:55 AM
right and we probably wont see it at least in the US until its more developed in other countries that 3g has developed you might see it faster.

Other than that you guys will have to wait to take full advantage from 3G, I'm rather confused as to what you mean by the rest of your post :confused:

a104375
Feb 18, 2008, 10:58 AM
Other than that you guys will have to wait to take full advantage from 3G, I'm rather confused as to what you mean by the rest of your post :confused:

i mean that you might see it in products from countries that 3G has been more developed quicker than say the US

Tosser
Feb 18, 2008, 11:02 AM
i mean that you might see it in products from countries that 3G has been more developed quicker than say the US

Oh, like that :p

But it has been like that for years in countries with 3G I'm in Denmark, and even if we do have quite the 3G coverage, it's a standard feature on any 3G phone. So, perhaps those years have passed, and it's about time US of Apple (lol) got with the times? ;)