Why didn´t MBA get 3G?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ApplesAOranges, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. ApplesAOranges macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    Is it because of OS X? Torrent downloading, streaming and other traffic? The network would be jammed immediately? Or maybe there´s other reasons?

    With iPad (iOS) people can´t torrent, so I guess it was ok for iPad to get 3G?

    Will any Apple laptop get integrated 3G/4G in the near future?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Looks like Apple just did not want to include it in their laptops, yet. I doubt there are any other good reasons.
  3. Phayz macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Doubt it has anything to do with torrents, as that will affect network traffic, so will only affect mobile networks.

    I think it's because the iPad's market is still growing, and a 3G MBA would eat into that share.
  4. Aatos.1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2010
    Apple is behind in certain areas by choice. It seems to be a rather childish game with them. If they didn't think of it first then they either ignore it, or come out publicly and bash it. This sets the tone for their followers who then fall in line and fear challenging Apple.
  5. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    It'll be in the next revision. You'll see. Apple holds back on a lot of things that are actually possible, just so next year you might buy a new one. (ie. I guarantee most iPad owners will be swapping for the iPad 2 just for the camera).
  6. MikePA macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2008
    What does the options available on an iPad have to do with Macbook Air laptops? :rolleyes:

    How many laptops, regardless of manufacturer, have built in cellular capability?
  7. animatedude macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2010
    forgive my ignorance but laptops nowadays have 3G?
  8. ApplesAOranges thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
  9. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    I see a couple of reasons why it didn't get 3G.

    First... space. The thing is already out of room inside.

    Second... battery life. When I plug in my Verizon 3G USB modem and logon to the 'net, I instantly lose 1.5 hours of battery life according to the meter. So instead, when I need my battery to last, I use the WiFi hotspot in my Droid X phone.

    Third... why limit people to one network? AT&T SUCKS ASS. I have an iPad 3G and I canceled the 3G contract on it because it's worthless. It was so slow that I found myself using the Droid X's WiFi hotspot more often, so I just use that on it now.

  10. ApplesAOranges thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    Yeah, but that´s the thing. I don´t like at all those 3G USB sticks. Definitely a dealbreaker for me. The "3G on demand" system that iPad has now would be a really nice feature for the MBA (or any Apple laptop for that matter).

    I don´t mind the battery life hit and of course you could always turn the 3G off when you are not using it or you have WiFi. That´s what I do now with my iPhone.

    I´m really thinking about iPad (2) vs MBA, which one to get. Current iPad kinda sucks for me, ´cause I would need it to be more like a real computer. (One big thing you know I would like for the iPad is the infamous F word). :)
  11. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    My MBA accesses 3G from my iPhone, using tethering. Why should I pay for hardware in the MBA, then pay a seperate plan from my iPhone's data plan ?

    Leave the 3G to sticks/tethering, it's a much more convienent and cheap solution.
  12. philxor macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2010
    The fact the major wireless carriers use different RAN technologies for 3G/4G is probably the biggest reason. It still would have been nice for it to be an option, there are quite a few laptops these days with integrated 3G and now 4G.
  13. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    I can understand the convenience factor of having 3G built-in. Before I switched to the Mac, I had a Dell laptop with built-in 3G, and it was great. But the downside is that I could ONLY use it on that laptop. I much prefer the option of moving the USB stick from machine to machine as needed.

  14. AMDGAMER macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2011
    I'm going to get the 3G ATT USB card.

    If I use iphone to tether I have to change from the unlimited data plan I've had since 2007....
  15. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Hoo boy...theres one in every crowd.

    Apple just doesn't put 3G in their laptops. Probably because they don't want to choose on carrier over another. Plenty of other manufacturers are the same. it might be nice to have but I prefer the choice of using whoever I want and changing if need be.

  16. jace88 macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Having come from a Dell Mini9 with 3G... I've realised it's not that great to have an inbuilt modem. Battery doesn't last that long (and can't easily be switched to another device), modem can be prone to overheating with the laptop causing issues and the connection strength was patchy at best compared to even a cheap USB dongle. In the end I switched to a Huawei E585 and not only does it work a lot better, it offers wifi to a few devices (including iTouch!) at the same time.
  17. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
  18. AMDGAMER macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2011
    If I change my plan to 3G with tethering is 25 dollar per month for the cheapest option...however unlimited 3G is 30 bucks...can I switch back to the unlimited iphone plan or is that something that is done away with and I only have the unlimited option because I've had it for 3 years?
  19. bmat macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2004
    East Coast, USA
    I'm glad it doesn't have 3G, and if it were an option I would decline. I find using a mifi very convenient (and not much more difficult to carry), and I like the flexibility of being able to choose my carrier depending on quality of service where I need it and cost. Plus I can share it with other devices.
  20. rahrahrachel macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2010
    In the EU things are very simple as everything works with a sim card. You can just pop your sim card in your unlocked 3G modem and remove it if you need to use it in another device. I get free 3G access from my broaband provider and PAYG is quite cheap in the EU anyway.
    It is really the best solution. It's a lot neater and should be an option for all higher end ultraportables.
    Mifi nets less than 2 hours battery life. Tethering with your phone is not ideal for many people. Usb dongles look cumbersome. 3G tends to half your battery life so with the 13" MBP you should still be looking at 3 or possibly 4hrs battery life over WWAN with more power conservative settings. You can of course turn it of when not in use. I've got built in wwan in my current laptops. I would like to see Apple implementing this into the 13" MBP also, it's a deal breaker for me.
  21. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    Because I don't care about 3G. Why should I have to pay extra for something that I will NEVER use ?
  22. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Im fine wireless tethering my MacBook to my phone in my pocket versus being violated by AT&T and when I say violated think of it as bad as possible because cell carriers are evil things. I can see it. "MacBook Air only $399.99*"
    "*with a 2 year contract with AT&T, $500 ETF applies"

    It may go down completely different which might be the case but either way I just don't like it...sorry but I'll pass.:rolleyes:

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