Photos of a Prototype MacBook Pro with Integrated 3G Cellular Data

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. MacRumors, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2011

    macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    One of the most requested features for Apple's MacBook Pro line has been for the integration of some sort of built-in 3G cellular data to allow for anywhere wireless connectivity. MacBook Pro users presently need to purchase a separate Mi-Fi or 3G USB Modem in order to keep their machines connected to the internet when not near a Wi-Fi hotspot.


    It appears Apple has developed prototypes of the MacBook Pro with integrated 3G data, as evidenced by this eBay sale showing a never-released MacBook Pro prototype.

    This particular machine dates back to 2007 and is a 15" MacBook Pro Santa Rosa laptop with a 3G antenna, 3G hardware and SIM card slot built in. The machine was purchased "for parts" from Craigslist by the seller who describes the unit:
    The seller was able to repair the machine to get it into working condition. The 3G connector is seen by the operating system, but the actual data connection is not presently functional. The auction is, of course, sold "as is" but for our purposes, the existence of such a machine is the most interesting aspect.


    The laptop carries a red motherboard which is typical of Apple prototypes. We've seen in other prototype machines that have leaked out of Apple before: prototype Mac Pro and prototype iPod touch. The seller also notes that the remnants of the SIM-card connectivity remain on the production motherboards but are not populated. It's not clear at what stage Apple decided not to pursue production of this model.


    The integrated SIM card slow shown above means Apple had used GSM 3G technology rather than CDMA, allowing for use on AT&T and many other international networks. The 3G card itself is identified as a Dynastream ANT2USB stick according to OS X. In the prototype, Apple integrated the 3G antenna as an extendable antenna along the right side of the lid.

    Apple has yet to produce such a machine with integrated 3G, but has clearly been working on possibility since as far back as 2007.

    Article Link: Photos of a Prototype MacBook Pro with Integrated 3G Cellular Data
  2. macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2011
    Man that antenna is ugly. I can't understand why Apple made it quite so obvious.

    It's reminiscent of all the early phones with large, completely nonfunctional antennas.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jerome Morrow

    Jun 13, 2011
    United Kingdom
  4. macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    In before people who don't read say it's ugly

    This is a prototype from 2007, before 3g was in like...any laptops

    Edit: I lost, first post is just that
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    Cool at least they have experimented with it. Hopefully this will become common on pro's or the air more especially in the future.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2011
  7. macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010
    definitely shows its age haha, remember when all the cell phones had those antennas?
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2008
    They probably thought, we can't put 3G in a MacBook before we but 3G in the iPhone! Plus, Jobs would never approve that antenna.

    Now this is becoming less and less relevant with WiFi hotspots on phones.
  9. macrumors 601


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Lol. I actually don't think it's a bad design. Just needs some updating for the current models. It's an innovative placement and I've never seen another machine like that, though one possibly exists. It seems kind of like the OLPC bunny ears but far less obnoxious.

    This would be a welcome addition to my future MBP purchases. Especially if I could keep the service separate from my current contract and activate it only when needed.

    On a related note, doesn't Apple usually have eBay take down legit listings like this?
  10. macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A5288d)

    I personally wouldn't buy one. I can't afford ANOTHER data plan hah. Though that is really neat. If they ever produce MacBooks with 3G capabilities, I don't see there being an antenna like that one.
  11. macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Please have mercy on our eyes. Couldn't they make it internal or something??:rolleyes:
  12. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2009

    Its a prototype never meant to be seen from 2007 ??
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    When this eventually happens in our more modern Machines I think they might be likely to place the antenna design in the hinge of the macbooks as its that black plastic. Similar to the iPad's black plastic for 3G.

    Or maybe they might have the black iPad type band at the top of the lid?

    Either way putting 3G into the future macbook pro/air models would be awesome
  14. macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Yeah, but I'm guessing back in 2007, Apple could have made it internal.
    Or did internal antennas not exist in 2007? :rolleyes:
  15. macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Maybe Steve was right. No one reads anymore.

    It appears Apple has developed prototypes of the MacBook Pro with integrated 3G data, as evidenced by this eBay sale showing a never-released MacBook Pro prototype.

    This particular machine dates back to 2007 and is a 15" MacBook Pro Santa Rosa laptop with a 3G antenna, 3G hardware and SIM card slot built in. The machine was purchased "for parts" from Craigslist

    It doesn't matter how it looks. It was never released. Just an experiment. So it can look like a decomposing chicken as far as anyone's concerned, because it would never be available for purchase in that state. It's part of experimentation.

    Do you honestly think Apple would have released something that looks like that?

    I wonder how many Macbook Air prototypes, however many styles and "bad" designs never saw the light of day, before we finally got the masterpiece that was released to market.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Posen, Michigan

    All prototypes don't become sellable devices, crazy right? I think Jobs knew this design was ugly, and that's why they didn't sell it. whoa.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2011
    Interesting I agree with the Integrated wireless but I my self am working on a couple of prototypes.

    And the only reason why the antenna would come into place would be to reduce cost even though integrated wireless cards are more cheaper then they where in 2007.
  18. Rocketman, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

    macrumors 603


    Excuse me. That's not a rumor, it's a fact! :D

    One second after AT&T offers a "bucket of wireless data" plan for "all your wireless devices", linked to your iTunes account authorized units, all these magical devices and more will pop out of Apple like weeds.

    We lost 5 years of convenient wireless data access for a million MacBook users because someone decided we should want dongles better? Apple is clearly imperfect.

  19. macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    You're right though. They'd have to cover all angles whether they knew it was out of question or not, so good they did.
  20. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I'm shocked there's an antenna like that at all. Honestly, that's one of the guliest things imaginable. Even just integrating the antenna so it doesn't have to extend would have made it bearable.

    I guess the metal casing would dampen the signal too much otherwise.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2010
    California and Texas
  22. macrumors 68030


    Sep 6, 2007
    Cool they were thinking of this back then. Would be cool if they did this. It would be a nice options. Of course... minus the fugly antenna. :D

    In contrast, I think Apple should do a non-3G/4G version of the iPhone. Would be great for customers who want a smart cell phone, but don't need internet connection when on the road.
  23. macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    If you read... and check out the source link for the auction sale it tells you that it does not work...
  25. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    It would be a nice addition in new models especially since carriers may start moving towards shared data. If only they would let me keep my unlimited data when that happens.....

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