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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001


AppleInsider reports that a customer survey from Apple gauging user satisfaction with the company's new MacBook Air contains several questions related to 3G connectivity, suggesting that Apple may be considering adding the feature as a built-in option on future models.
Perhaps most telling are a number of questions in the survey related to 3G data use and connectivity. The MacBook Air comes with integrated Wi-Fi, but does not have a built-in 3G radio.

Apple's survey asks users whether they have connected their MacBook Air to a 3G network, how often they do so, where they connect to 3G, what type of device they use to connect to a 3G network (MiFi, USB device, or tethering with a cell phone).
As long ago as the MacBook Air's introduction in January 2008, a lack of built-in 3G mobile connectivity was seen as a deal-breaker by some, although the proliferation of devices and plans for tethering and personal hotspot data services in subsequent years have tempered those objections.


Many users have continued to hope, however, that Apple builds 3G access directly into a future model of the MacBook Air in order to make it a self-contained always-connected portable machine. An Apple job posting in mid-2009 hinted at the possibility that the company was looking at built-in 3G for portable Macs, and a rumor suggesting just that surfaced just weeks later, although no such device has yet appeared.

While the MacBook Air received a significant redesign, including the addition of an 11.6-inch model, just this past October, observers are already looking forward to a rumored update to Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors as early as June of this year.

Article Link: Apple Customer Survey Suggests Interest in 3G-Enabled MacBook Air


macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2009
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

I'd buy!


macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2004
Mountains of Vermont
I hope it is just an option and not mandatory. We don't have cel coverage around here and I don't want to waste the money on it. WiFi is what we use at home. When I am on the road I use WiFi hot spots. There are more of those than cel coverage it seems.


macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2009
I'm honestly shocked that they didn't do this to the current generation. Especially the 11.6".


macrumors member
Apr 29, 2009
Melbourne Australia
I have the new Air and iPad. Ipad without 3G. With the introduction of tethering the 3G data from my iPhone via wireless hotspot that is being introduced in the upcoming release of iOS the inclusion of 3G in each device is not something I'd be needing.


macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
Toronto, Canada
Apple doing customer research?

I thought they didn't like doing that, and all commands came down from Jobs himself.

Things must be worse than we thought.


macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
Seems like every other computer manufacturer has figured out that there's customer "interest" in such a feature for oh, 5 years now.


macrumors member
Dec 27, 2006
I have no trouble at all tethering my iPhone via bluetooth to my Macbook Air 11" using the General Settings switch for that purpose. Keep it simple.


macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
How about on the Pro models? Why would they be left out?

Also a 4G/3G radio would be more likely at this point, right?

Maybe they will stick a GPS, compass and gyro in there too while they're at it. Not sure what for, but why not? It fits in nicely with my Mac/iOS Convergence Theory.


macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2010
That would be awesome. However I frown upon having two data plans, one for phone and one for laptop. Should be both. Especially if you're paying for a limited service. I should be able to pull from either just as long as I don't go over my limit.


macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
Wherever my feet take me…
If true, I wonder if it'll be like the iPad: have a separate 3G version and wi-fi only version, or whether they'll have one model, but with or without a SIM card.

Also, which carriers?


macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2002
No interest whatsoever. I wish for my iPhone to share it's connection with my iPad and laptop. No redundant functionality and duplicate bills, thank you.


macrumors 68030
Jun 18, 2009
Just give me reasonably priced wifi tethering from my iPhone so I can use it with whatever device I want.

I'm not interested in paying an additional $60/month to AT&T, Verizon or whomever just for 3G connectivity to my MBA.


macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2009
Apple should totally add this; if nothing else, it'll give the MR forum whiners more material. The "OMG WHY ISN'T THERE A MINI TOWAR", "OMG APPLE ABANDONING PROS" and "OMG ITUNES IS A MONOPOLY" arguments are getting kinda stale, and "OMG WHY ISN'T IT ALL 5 FLAVORS OF 4G" would be a nice addition.


macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2010
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Maybe before but now with the ability to have a mobile hotspot (MiFi) who needs all those device data plans? One unlimited plan on one MiFi serves my Air laptop, iPad and any other device I like.

Full of Win

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2007
Ask Apple
Apple CE is way behind other computer makers in offering this as an option. Dell, for example, has made the option available for years. To add insult in injury, many of the dongle makers offer limited (e.g. 32 bit only drivers) to no OS X support.


macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
Bedfordshire, UK
I have had integrated 3G in my VAIO's for 3-4 years now!

It's a standard option on my last two generations of Z series, so I am amazed Apple need to do a survey. Just make it a CTO option if they are too stingy to make it a standard component.

Lets forget that it looks stupid for a moment, but when I want to use my MBA when I am away from the office or home, having a whacking great USB dongle sticking out the side is sometimes impracticable.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2004
No thanks.

I've got one mobile data plan, and it's on my phone. I don't want to have to pay another plan for 3G in my laptop as well.
I'll just use the tethering option that'll come along in 4.3 for the very rare occasion when i need to get online with my MBA and i'm not in a wireless zone.

even with the tethering option, i would hardly use it, as if i need to look something up, i'll read it on the phone screen, and if i wanted to download something to the macbook, 3G would be too slow anyway


macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
Bedfordshire, UK
And they had better accept standard SIM cards. If they roll out integrated 3G and it only supports micro-SIM's then they will certainly lose me as a long term customer and anyone else who has a standard SIM in their dongles.

If Apple assume people like me will take out another 3G contract specifically for use on my (future) MacBook then they are mistaken.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2011
Wowzers, yes please.

Damn it. Hard to choose between iPad and Macbook Air 11"
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