Will the new Air include 3G?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rkdiddy, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    #1
    I find it kind of interesting that Apple doesn't include 3G chips in their notebooks. Now that Apple is utilizing Qualcomm's 3G (GSM/CDMA) chip, it seems like it would be a great addition to the Air.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

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    #2
    Yes, they will.

    Just kidding. How could we know? Let's just wait.

    Personally I wouldn't use it. I rarely use my laptop outside of a Wi-Fi signal, and there's Personal Hotspot for the rare times it happens.
     
  3. Beanoir macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

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    #3
    Unless you think Steve Jobs and/or Mystic Meg surf these forums, i'm not sure what sort of answer you expect to that question...
     
  4. rkdiddy thread starter macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    #4
    I guess I should have rephrased the question. It's more a question of why doesn't Apple include 3G? I have 3G in my iPad 2 and frankly find myself using it a lot more than I thought I would.

    I personally think it would be great to have it built into an Air.

    PS: I wouldn't be surprised if someone from Apple does peruse these forums. It's a goldmine of user feedback and ideas.
     
  5. nebulos macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

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    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Considering the name of this site, I think the question is quite fair. Obviously, a certain 'yes' or 'no' is not expected.

    I have no idea, but it hasn't been mentioned in any of the big rumors so far, so I would guess no.
     
  6. nebulos macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

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    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    ... at the same time, this has probably been discussed before, and I know first hand how frustrating it can be when people post questions that have been exhausted and are easy to find by searching. This may or may not be one of those cases.
     
  7. Beanoir macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

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    #7

    I never said the question wasn't fair, I just said he won't ever get a decent answer, just the usual speculation that is generally based on people's opinions.

    The answer to the question is, nobody around here knows, they may or may not include 3G in any of their portable notebooks. They've made tethering so easy now if you have an iPhone that I doubt there is a huge requirement for it amongst Apple fans, but I could be wrong.
     
  8. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

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    #8
    I just don't think it's particularly economical for them to include such a chip. While surely they'd get the chip at a nice price, they'd have to spend millions in R&D redesigning the motherboard in its entirety (I'd assume at least, since there's not much space in there and you need to shove antennas somewhere).

    I really just don't see the demand for it... and for those who do demand it, surely they have a phone capable of tethering. As a student, I'm constantly surrounded by Wi-Fi networks (home, class, library, dining hall), so for me, there's really no need (which is also why I opted for a Wi-Fi iPad 2). If there does come a moment in time where I need to check something on the go (like when I'm walking to class or on a bus), I simply use my iPhone. Going along with that, if I actually do need to use my iPad or laptop in such an event, it takes 2 seconds to enable my iPhone's hotspot.

    My laptop right now actually has a built in Verizon card. I've never activated it because it simply costs too much and have never had a dire need for it.

    Meh, that's what I think at least. Just not a big enough demand.
     
  9. fkhan3 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    There is no need for built in 3G. Better to get a mobile hotspot or use built in tethering that is now available in most smartphones. You'll get more bang for the buck.
     
  10. Chipg macrumors regular

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    #10
    I'd LOVE to have an Air with a combo 3G/GPS chip in it!!!
     
  11. Kafka macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I think that would be great and will happen sooner or later, however I live in France where 3G is an absolute rip off so we wouldn't have much use for it around here. But the idea is great...
     
  12. Beanoir macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

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    #12
    SO let me get this straight, you think it'd be great to have a 3G sim in your laptop AND get ripped off for using it at the same time.

    Weird....
     
  13. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #13
    I believe with the iPhone having 3G tethering, Apple will see no need to add a 3G/4G card to any Mac. I just think the world is moving more toward WiFi everywhere also, and for those that need it MiFi is a solid solution for up to five or more devices.

    I don't see it happening in the short term, but maybe things will change over time. I used to want it badly, but now I see it as too expensive to have data on each of my devices and MiFi gives me data everywhere with all of them and is super small.

    Just my opinion though. I have thought for a long time that AT&T, Verizon, etc should pay Apple to put 3G cards in the MacBooks. It costs nearly nothing, and the data provider could revenue share with Apple. Financially it makes a lot of sense... but Apple seems so motivated with software right now that it isn't really advancing on all hardware fronts.

    I personally don't understand why the most valuable company in the world cannot make even an iPhone a year, updates its MacBooks once per year or worse, and is generally trending toward longer updates. I don't get how they cannot do things like add value added services for data on MacBooks or even compete better in hardware on all fronts versus competing products.
     
  14. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a

    macjonny1

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    #14
    I think the MiFi is the way to go. I have the 3G ipad but don't want to be locked in to one carrier. Having separate contracts for your phone, ipad, laptop, insanity.
     
  15. Kafka macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Not what I said.

    However as macjonny said, being tied to one carrier would suck...
     
  16. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a

    GekkePrutser

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    #16
    I think it would be a great idea. Absolutely. I love my iPad with 3G, and it's brilliant. I hate tethering with a phone because it uses battery power on the phone and it's always an extra action of having to switch the tethering on and off. Not to mention the fact that I have an iPhone 1 and am limited to GPRS/EDGE in that sense (and I don't think it even supports tethering anyway). But I know I'm part of a tiny minority with such an old phone.

    However I would like to see something more than just 3G: A low-power ARM chip alongside the normal CPU, that keeps running in the background when the MacBook Air is in sleep mode. It could keep the connection to the 3G network open and receive push messages and keep the mailbox up to date. So that when you open it back up all you latest mail is already there. Just like on the iPad 3G. Which uses about 10% of battery per day doing that, which I think is a perfectly reasonable sacrifice considering it can be turned off when not needed.

    It could be done, especially on a MBA with its SSD so it's safe to do writes to the drive even when the laptop is being moved. It would also fit in well with Apple's vision of integrating iOS and Mac OS. Don't think it will happen with this release though. I doubt they can fit the WiFi and 3G antennas together in the small plastic strip at the back hinge, I think the 3G antenna would require a plastic 'window' in the lid of the casing somewhere, just like the iPad has. Because it has much higher transmit power than the WiFi and the signal is a lower frequency one so requires a bigger antenna. I don't think it'll happen in this refresh although I'd love to have it.
     
  17. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I'd say extremely unlikely since its not something Apple normally does. Maybe when LTE becomes more standardized.
     
  18. reputationZed macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I can't see a compelling reason to do so, and at least two that are compelling reasons not to. Those two reasons are of course ATT and Verizon. If 3G or even 4G coverage and data plans weren't such a bag of hurt then it might be a possibility, but until the cell companies abandon their nickel and dime mentality I can't see Apple throwing another ball in their court. I'd imagine that most of use download quite a bit more data on our OSX devices than on our iOS devices, an amount of data that typically exceeds what ATT & Verizon considers reasonable for 3G.
     
  19. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #19
    I'd highly doubt it. Apple under Steve Jobs has a minimalist design philosophy. If there's not a compelling reason to include a feature, Apple doesn't. While other manufacturers like to add the 3G slot, Apple seems content to ask its users to tether their iPhones to their Mac notebooks.
     
  20. blipmusic macrumors regular

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    #20
    This is what I'm afraid of.

    Problem is open wifi spots are relatively scarce here in Sweden, whereas 3G broadband packages are quite cheap (mobile data packages are ok, but seem to go up and down however). Maybe the mentioned 3G->wifi solution works well but that's another gadget to bring and not forget to charge.

    I've had 3G as my sole internet connection for a couple of years now and it has made me realize that I value the freedom it allows for far more than a speedy cabled connection (the wifi spots are often slower than 3G in my case for some reason).

    I'd love an internal wireless modem in the Air, especially the 11". The smaller the device gets, the more I'd like a connection I don't have to setup or think about before use. That's what I really like about the iPad 3G. So... ditch my laptop and get an iPad 2 as my main computer when iOS 5 arrives then...? *cough* imstupidenoughtotrythat *cough*
     
  21. CHSeifert, Jun 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011

    CHSeifert macrumors 6502

    CHSeifert

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    #21
    Since I already have 2 3G subscriptions with 10 GB a month on each, one for my iPhone and one for my iPad, I see no use for 3G in MBA.

    But would still be a nice idea for other people......

    I just use inet sharing on my MBA.
     
  22. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a

    GekkePrutser

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    #22
    Same here, there's very few open wifi points in Ireland due to the low usage limits on broadband here. And the number of open WiFis is only going to become smaller due to increased legal pressure (the broadband owner is liable for copyright infringement and other malicious usage done on their account even if it was done by someone else). So it's very ill-advised to have an open WiFi access point as a consumer.

    Public WiFi spots provided by telcos are an option but the cost to access them is a lot higher than for the 3G service and the range more limited. Also, WiFi doesn't provide wide area access so if you're travelling you'll constantly have to find new access points to connect to whereas on 3G you can just stay connected without any interruptions. Not to mention on a moving vehicle like a train where WiFi is impossible unless its offered by the train operator.

    That's what I love about 3G, just switch it on and you're on the internet, no matter where, no logon screens, no signing up for expensive day passes. No hassle. There's plenty of providers offering pay-as-you-use prepaid options where you only pay if you actually use it, and it's quite affordable. For example, I pay 1 euro a day if I turn on the 3G service in my iPad, nothing if it's off all day. It's great in hotels where the wifi service is usually a tenner a day or more. I'd never consider a contract even for my mobile phone but prepay is a cheap option and very often even cheaper than a contract.

    I know there's other solutions like dongles, MiFis, and tethering but none of them are as easy as simply having it internally. There's a reason why Apple still make a 3G version of the iPad 2 - The iPad 1 sold great with 3G and so will the MacBook Air 3G if they were to make one.
     
  23. Genocide macrumors member

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    Jun 7, 2011
    #23
    I'd say they'll wait until 4G is being widely used across carriers before implementing it into their laptops. What's the point in having a 3G card in a laptop when the technology is going to be superseded within the next couple years?

    Then again it is Apple and implementing 3G into a generation of laptops and then quickly changing it to 4G in the next update of the line-up would definitely create demand for the newer models.

    Only time will tell.
     
  24. trims macrumors regular

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    #25
    I always travel with a phone in my pocket so tethering makes sense. Even though the UK telcoms charge extra for tethering (rip off IMHO) its cheaper than having a separate contract.
     

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