Why don’t MacBooks have LTE like the iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by omelet1978, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. omelet1978 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I was just wondering why MacBooks and laptops in general don’t have SIM card slots for 4G LTE?

    I use my iPad Pro 10.5 as my main device mainly bc I have a Verizon SIM card in it with unlimited data. I travel a lot, so its very useful. The 12 inch MacBook for example...that would be a great thing to have for me if it had LTE.

    Thanks
     
  2. akash.nu macrumors 68030

    akash.nu

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    #2
    Because most people have some or the other type of internet access when they use their laptops and traditionally laptops really didn’t need a SIM card slot for the type of work they were built for.

    I guess now they can do it but then most people have a smartphone and can tether their laptops with the device and get internet that way.
     
  3. SigEp265 macrumors 6502

    SigEp265

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    #3
  4. Booji macrumors 6502a

    Booji

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    #4
    I wish they did. It's one of the reasons why I switched to iPad Pro as my main device.
     
  5. newellj macrumors 603

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    Boston, MA, US
    #5
    You mean like every other competitor? It's because Apple (probably St. Jobs) made a doctrinal decision years ago that laptops and cell connectivity were inherently inconsistent. The fact that many Apple users would prefer to connect that way, and the fact that all of Apple's competitors offer that alternative, does not factor into the mix because we're basically dealing with theology rather than responsive customer service. I am *not* an Apple hater; this is just the facts.
     
  6. Jay43 macrumors member

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    Sep 16, 2015
    #6
    You can actually have a 3G/LTE connection on any computers with usb dongles! It's cheap and I've been using that kind of device for years. Or you can just use pretty much any smartphone as a personnal hotspot

    So yes it is possible to have cell connection on a macbook :)
     
  7. newellj macrumors 603

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    #7
    Well, on those terms, iPads make great hotspots. HUGE batteries. ;) But that isn't the point. No one else makes you use dongles or hotspots for cell connectivity. >:-(
     
  8. akash.nu macrumors 68030

    akash.nu

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    #8
    Because no one else have a laptop with a SIM card either.
     
  9. itsmilo macrumors 65816

    itsmilo

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    #9
    never understood that either, even before the very first iPad came out. Laptop of all things should have the most space to fit a LTE module
     
  10. thecore762 macrumors regular

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    Sep 20, 2014
    #10
    Because if they started adding LTE to laptops it would cripple the cellular network because they usually download large files when using a computer/laptop.
    I don’t think it’s because of Apple it’s becsuse cellular carries won’t go for that.

    Look at clearwire...they went bankrupt.
     
  11. newellj macrumors 603

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    #11
    Not true. Every major laptop maker, and quite a few second tier ones, offer laptops with LTE.
     
  12. MarkB786 macrumors 6502

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    Rocky Mountains, USA
    #12
    Good question. I know Microsoft will soon be selling a Surface Pro with LTE capabilities by year end, so maybe it will be more common soon. However, take a look at your carrier's data plans for laptops. They are no where near as generous as the data plans for tablets and phones. You might be better off tethering to your phone.
     
  13. TheRealAlex macrumors 65816

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    Sep 2, 2015
    #13
    I agree yet I think it’s because of the Mobile Chipset an iPad Chipset is basically a Big IPhone and the products are easily reused either for phones or iPads. But Laptops there’s no off the shelf Chipset or easy integration.
     
  14. baypharm macrumors 65816

    baypharm

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    #14
    Cripple the network? I don’t think so. Just not true at all.
     
  15. akash.nu macrumors 68030

    akash.nu

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    #15
    How can you say that with such confidence? We’ve seen networks fall over so many times because of traffic.
     
  16. thecore762 macrumors regular

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    Sep 20, 2014
    #16
    There is a reason big carriers put a hard cap at 22gb then they start slowing you down afterwards. Why do you think that? Its because it would cost them an arm and a leg to keep up with bandwidth demands. It be too much for over the air internet...
     
  17. kevink2 macrumors 65816

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #17
    I've seen laptops offered with cellular support before.

    But an even smaller segment of the population would pay extra for a laptop with service than even a tablet. And I believe the majority of tablet systems are Wi-Fi only.

    And laptops would almost have to be special order for this, at least until LTE is exclusive, since inventory issues proliferate.
     
  18. Macalicious2011 macrumors regular

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    #18
    Not necessarily. Imagine the ease that a LTE laptop would bring. Pop open your laptop anywhere, browse or work instantly. No faffing about with connecting to public but potentially slow WiFi networks or turning your phone into a hotspot. An LTE connection would als be better for privacy and security.

    However as someone said, data could be a problem. I once used my phone as a hotspot for a few hours and munched through several gigs of data in a few hours.
     
  19. jouster74 macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2013
    #19
    Many early netbooks had sim slots but that didn’t last for long.
     
  20. KGB7 macrumors 6502a

    KGB7

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    #20
    Some Laptops over a decade ago came with cellular connectivity but it never took off.

    This days free WiFi can be found in a lot of places. So paying additional monthly bill is a waste of money and you can tather your laptop to a smart phone that most people have now days.
     
  21. bensisko macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Well, now that we’ve covered the conspiracy theory base...

    It probably comes down to a very simple equation of interest vs. return on invenstment. Is there enough interest in LTE enabled MacBooks to go through all the work it would take to create a MacBook with LTE.

    And before someone says “it’s not a lot of work, it would be simple!” It’s not about Engineering, it’s about regulation. The ROI probably just isn’t there.
     
  22. newellj macrumors 603

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    #22
    THere's no conspiracy theory here, though they abound at MR. The usual bogeyman is trying to protect sales of LTE-enabled iPads.

    Maybe the sales numbers aren't there. But if that's true, most other major computer makers have come to the opposite conclusion.
     
  23. bensisko macrumors 65816

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    #23
    I seriously doubt that Apple is trying to protect iPad sales. You won't get an argument that they focus more on mobile than desktop, but if Apple thought they would sell a significant number of Macbooks by adding LTE, they would do it. As I said, it's simple ROI.

    As far as "other companies", it doesn't seem to be a big option.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not against it. In fact, if there was a MacBook with LTE, I would seriously consider it (especially with the unlimited plans - assuming it's not outrageous compared to a tablet).

    The thing is, I probably wouldn't buy a laptop with LTE built-in right now because 5G is on the horizon and I feel that 4G laptop would artificially age the laptop. Purely a personal perspective though.
     
  24. newellj macrumors 603

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    #24
    I agree on the falsity of the conspiracy theory that Apple doesn't put LTE into laptops to protect iPad sales. Markets have very harshly punished companies that adopt similar strategies, and I think Apple management is smart enough to realize that.

    4G vs 5G is a fair, but purely temporary point in terms of timing and tech development.
     
  25. KGB7, Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017

    KGB7 macrumors 6502a

    KGB7

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    #25
    It’s so they can charge you more money if you wanted more high speed data. They even offer more data at high price, and to prevent people from torrenting.
    VZ Fios has almost no data cap at their highest and lowest speed tier. Don’t you think same company can handle LTE network loads??
    It’s all about separating customers from their money.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 14, 2017 ---
    Few companies have tried adding it to their laptops over a decade ago but, it never took off.
    A cellular modem doesn’t take up much space and doesn’t require any special engineering. It’s no different than adding a WiFi card or supporting external cellular USB adapter.
     

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