Why does Apple refuse to put cellular modems in laptops?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thinkdesign, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #1
    The cyber-hippie-dippie optimism that mobile computing could rely on open wi-fi's everywhere, crashed and burned many years ago.

    Now the norm everyhere I've been, is that wi-fis are locked, even if your device's initial search survey doesn't say so. (Try to connect with one of those wi-fis that initially seem unlocked, and then it becomes clear that it IS locked.)

    My city was one of the several that said they'd build a free wi-fi system and then didn't do it.

    Steve Jobs seems to have snoozed through all this history, like Rip Van Winkle. Everyone else offers cellular modem options, while Apple stubbornly drags its feet. While yammering about "mobility."

    What on earth is Jobs's problem with this? Perhaps Apple's Board of Directors needs to step in and make the decision for him?

    If he's the genius the media all say he is, why is he so stubbornly stupid on this question?
     
  2. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 16, 2010
    #2
    very few would use it, and it would eat up battery.
    buy a mobile card or w/e and get over it. Apple doesn’t have to do absolutely everything just because people want it.
     
  3. bigjobby macrumors 65816

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    London, UK
    #3
    Really can't see the point. Probably 99.9% (or thereabouts) of owners would have no use for this feature and mobile broadband via USB dongles are readily available from all major networks anyway. Personally I've only seen this feature on a selected number of business class Windows laptops (eg. Thinkpad T series).

    Besides, sticking in a cellular modem is probably not a good idea with the arrival of 4G technology. 3G networks will be old hat soon and there's no point sticking in WiMax inside an MBP if the majority of countries are moving towards LTE instead blah blah blah. External dongle solution is way better IMO.
     
  4. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    Apr 3, 2009
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    Canada
    #4
    mobile broadband cards are a waste, thats why there not as available as external usb based ones are....

    if the technology changes so will the hardware so instead of replacing a WWAN card in your laptop you can simply get a new usb modem/ phone (tethering)
     
  5. elleana macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #5
    Do you really want your laptop locked to AT&T too???
     
  6. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

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    Bay Area
  7. warrena macrumors member

    warrena

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    DFW area
    #7
    I use the Verizon MiFi - it is portable, works with any device I have (laptop, iPad, etc.) and I can upgrade it/change it out when technology changes.
     
  8. BobbyCarbn macrumors regular

    BobbyCarbn

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    #8
    I can imagine the threads here now:

    WHEN WILL APPLE UPDATE THE MACBOOK CELL CARDS TO SUPPORT 4G!!!! THIS IS UTTER ********

    WHY DID MY BATTERY CAPACITY GO DOWN OVER AN HOUR WHEN USING THE BUILT IN 3G CARD!!!!!

    WHEN WILL VERIZON START BECOMING AVAILABLE AS A PROVIDER FOR THE MACBOOK PRO CELL CARDS????

    Get a MiFi and be happy you can have your iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Macbook all on the net at the same time!
     
  9. Frosties macrumors 6502a

    Frosties

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #9
    It's from the design point that Apple only think and develop computers and phones for the US market. The iphone and the macbook program (the air would be my first choice to get 3G) has been held back in development due to AT&T crappy 3G network. That is how it is and we can be as frustrated as a beer drinker with boxing gloves on about this but it doesn't change anything.
     
  10. wilycoder macrumors 6502

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    Aug 4, 2008
    #10
    OP are you mad I get wifi tethering at 4g speeds with my EVO?
     
  11. oilfighter macrumors regular

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    May 14, 2008
    #11
    A few reasons comes to mind

    - AT&T and Apple can't come to an agreement on the data plan. Apple probably will want to push for unlimited data, and AT&T wants a tiered plan.
    - AT&T can't handle another major drain in their data pipeline
    - Verizon probably want more money and more control than AT&T if Apple wants to go with them
    - Steve Job found some minor detail that will detract user for the overall Apple experience
    - Apple wants you to buy an iPad
    - AT&T wants you to sign up for the $20 tether option, to get on the same internet as your iphone

    take your pick
     
  12. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #12
    sounds like you need moar wifi. Move closer to the city. I can reach numerous hotspots in my apartment with 5 of them being unprotected (whilst mine uses WPA2 for all of my clients w/ hidden SSID, mac addy filtering, static IPs and operating @ low power level which limits range)
     
  13. Betelgeuse macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    #13
    Of course, the solution to this is to bring back the ExpressCard slot on all the MBPs. That way, you can have a nice 3G access card that is upgradable, but hidden (really, people? you actually are advocating a USB dongle?!). In addition, it gives people choice; for those who don't want a cell-network-based access card, they can get all sorts of other different hardware.
     
  14. thinkdesign thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 12, 2010
    #14
    illogical defenses of status quo...

    1.) The fact that other laptop makers offer optional (repeat: optional) cell modems, all by itself proves that Apple has no engineering excuse. Next!

    2.) "Do you really want your laptop locked to ATT too?" Why? Has one iota of evidence ever surfaced indicating that the iPhone contract between ATT & Apple extends to laptops too? No. Next!

    3.) (Post #11) No. I looked at the Sprint Evo 2 weeks ago, when my mostly-wonderful HTC Touch Pro died. What wasn't wonderful about it was that I had to carry the charger around, because my heavy use would run the battery down by mid-afternoon.

    The Sprint Evo's battery life is apparently even less sufficient. To gain what, a slight speed bump? While boosting my monthly bill? Sprint charges you for the 4G from day one, even if 4G service hasn't yet arrived in your area.

    4.) Until 4G began to come along, what was the "flexibility to upgrade" excuse 5 years ago and ten years ago that held back Apple, but not the other laptop companies, from offering a cell modem option? This excuse is particularly silly because 4G modems are backwards compatible to 3G.

    If the 3 to 4G upgrade potential is Apple's excuse du jour.... they could in the next few years... offer Sprint 3/4G as soon as that 4G network's mostly up and running. And add the ATT 3/4G modem option as soon as that 4G network's mostly operating. Same with Verizon.

    But there are people like me who would be happy with 3G only.... because the price for that is high enough already, and I don't value the extra speed of 4G enough to pay any more for that.


    Some people might want to have whatever company provides their cell phone service handle the computer's too, just to avoid one more separate bill.

    Options. It's all about giving people options.
     
  15. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #15
    Buy a cellular USB drive
    buy a different computer
    stop complaining about useless features
    GTFO :)

    those are your options
     
  16. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #16
    Everything that has already been said in this thread. And I'll add that, for me at least, having a pre-installed, non-removable cellular modem pre-installed would be a de-motivator in my buying decision. For people that already want cellular modems, you likely already have one with a multi-month/year service contract already in place. So I'd be making my buying decision and this "feature" would irritate me that I'm paying more for the equipment pre-installed and its not even usable to me.
     
  17. bigjobby macrumors 65816

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    An expresscard would be nice for increased versatility but don't knock the USB solution. More networks in many countries offer broadband dongles solutions than expresscard due to the fact that USB is ubiquitous on all computers unlike expresscard. Due to the demand of these USB devices, manufacturing costs per unit is cheaper and because of more competing networks offering this solution and market forces, prices are cheaper.


    1. It is probably more likely to be a marketing excuse than the aforementioned.

    4. This is true/untrue per se. There are two competing technologies in the 4G arena, WiMax and LTE (Long Term Evolution). 4G Wimax (as used by Sprint) is not backward compatible as it is based on a different technology to 3G networks however LTE (as adopted by Verizon and AT&T) is. In a nutshell, 4G has not been fully rolled out or is not not going to be in the vast majority of the world for a while until the required bandwidths in their radio spectrum becomes available. When it is, existing 3G base stations can be rapidly upgraded to accommodate 4G LTE. Unlike Wimax where all new base stations have to be erected hence much slower rollouts and higher expenses. At the end of the day both offer their own pro's and con's.

    Anyway back to the topic, if the market is not crying out for built-in cellular modems then why implement it? I certainly wouldn't put it in the top 5 on feature request/change list. I would rather see things like expresscard, USB 3.0, Blu-ray, ease the sharpness of the near-side edge of the unibody, spill-proof keyboards, OSX tweaks etc. At least these will get rid of half the threads on these forums! :D

    As far as options go, why not get a USB broadband dongle? That's what USB is for too... options.
     
  18. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    Boulder, CO
    #18
    This was purely sarcasm.
     
  19. vant macrumors 65816

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    Jul 1, 2009
    #19
    troll.

    In regards to cellular modems, they have USB dongles for that. Driving up the cost of hardware for 100% of the customers to benefit 3% is not ideal. "They could make it optional!" yeah and add more SKUs? No thanks.

    This problem is just easily solved by a USB dongle.
     
  20. Aldaris macrumors 68000

    Aldaris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    #20
    Well, you might hold it the wrong way :)

    I jest, really do we all need to be tied to AT&T through our phones, ipads, and now our macs... Steve save us.
     
  21. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #21
    You could BTO or choose at an Apple store which radio you'd need.
     
  22. andrew086 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    #22
    ummm... let me get this straight: you can't afford internet but you can afford a macbook pro? unless you're on the go, this doesn't make much sense. usually if you need to have internet 24/7 and you travel a lot, you should probably have a usb 3g/4g stick
     
  23. Meever macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 30, 2009
    #23
    Can you buy any half decent priced data off contract? And if you're going on contract don't those companies usually throw in a USB modem or some kind of tetering tool (like mifi)? Or hell, just teter off your smartphone.
     
  24. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #24
    I'd love a mobile service for my Macbook, something internal with no network locks. I'd just use it for emails on the go. Mifi would be overkill.
     

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