Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Macs With 3G — More Connectivity, More Problems

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the multi-mobilization dept.

Wireless (Apple) 73

narramissic writes "In a recent blog post, Josh Fruhlinger muses on the possibility of 3G radio receivers turning up in future Mac notebooks (as foretold by Apple job postings and the mention of WWAN hardware in Snow Leopard beta releases). 'At first glance,' says Fruhlinger, 'this seems like a reasonably awesome idea.' But will the target market be willing to take on the additional telecom charge? 'And, more to the point,' he says, 'most of us have gotten accustomed to the idea of one Internet connection per household, shared with a wireless router. The latter idea could be covered by a router that connects to the Internet over a 3G connection — something like the MiFi hotspot. It wouldn't surprise me if Apple had such a thing in the pipeline, an Airport station (Airport Mobility?) that didn't need to be plugged into the wall. That would explain the search for 3G experts, anyway.'"

cancel ×

73 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Why, that's a nice gift horse (4, Interesting)

Criffer (842645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887555)

Why, that's a nice gift horse, mind if I take a look at it's teeth?

Laptops with 3G aren't new, but now that Apple is (maybe) planning on adding a 3G capable radio chipset (to add to the bluetooth and wifi 2.4/5GHz radio chipset), it's just bringing "more problems"?

Well, if you don't want to use it, that's fine, but I would be happy with a laptop which is able to talk to the world outwith the confines of my home or work wifi networks.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (5, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887589)

The problem mostly lies with the way that a lot of companies (more than likely Apple included) would sell them. For example, you would get the laptop for cheap, say $500, but then you would be tied in a 2 year contract with AT&T (or some other cell provider) to get "unlimited" data that really isn't unlimited, costs you a fortune, and theres no other way to buy the laptop.

Its been happening to cell phones for ages now, and starting to happen with netbooks.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (5, Interesting)

PenguSven (988769) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887821)

No way will Apple force people to buy their laptops through a phone company. Steve Jobs stated that they didn't put WWAN into the MacBook Air because he didn't want customers tied to a single Telco.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888907)

Sure, but just look at the iPhone, if Jobs didn't want customers tied into a single phone company they wouldn't have made it be exclusive to one company per country.

And the excuse of, well the others wouldn't give Apple enough freedom... Is total crap. If Apple came up with the specs for visual voicemail, published them, went first to the company that would provide it first, made a hit like the iPhone, I can guarantee you that a year or so later every single company would have implemented visual voicemail and had the iPhone, and the iPhone would have dominated.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (1)

mister_tim (653773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27894377)

Well, the iPhone isn't exclusive to one company in Australia. All the major (and some of the minor) telcos here sell it and support it on their networks.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (1)

WillyDavidK (977353) | more than 5 years ago | (#27901939)

There are numerous countries offering the iPhone on multiple carriers, so your woefully ignorant claim of 'one company per country'' is what is 'total crap'.

And the problem isn't companies not giving Apple enough freedom. It's Apple wanting more control than other companies are willing to give - namely Verizon. Furthermore, it is the companies who are declining to work with Apple, not the other way around.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889325)

As long as Apple doesn't take money to subsidize the device, they can work it out so that the device accepts any SIM card. Then they can get service from any provider that they choose, excepting Verizon.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27892019)

And Sprint.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (2, Insightful)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27892705)

That's where the Qualcomm GoBi devices come in. They're able to be switched from CDMA 1xRTT+EvDO to GSM EDGE+HSUPA with a firmware change, and I think they technically support a dual mode firmware just it's never been seen in the wild.

Those new Sony netbooks have the GoBi cards configured in a Verizon-only mode in the US, but there are a number of threads in various phone forums discussing how to load a GSM/HSUPA firmware and use it on AT&T. tnkgrl has some info on her blog (too lazy to find link, google it if interested).

If I can buy my next Macbook Pro with a cross-provider 3G card (or 4G if there's a decent rollout by then) I will do it. I've dealt with too much shit getting Bluetooth tethering working on my current and past phones. I just never want to be tied to a provider (though ironically this effectively sticks me to AT&T, since no unlocked phones work on the CDMA carriers and T-Mobile's 3G and rural coverage are both dog shit).

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (1)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890051)

Looking at how it is with all the laptops sold today with built-in 3G:

1. You can buy one just like you buy any other laptop, then either not use it or use any 3G-service you want with it.
2. You can buy one bundled with a 3G-data service.

Freedom of choice! =)

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (4, Insightful)

pisto_grih (1165105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887849)

And then Steve Jobs comes to your house in the middle of the night, and drags you kicking and screaming to the store and forces you to buy it with a gun to your head... oh wait...

Go suck Steve's dick somewhere.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27887957)

LOOK HERE PEOPLE!! The new shiny strawman!!!!

This way, there is nothing to discuss on the slashdot. For all the Microsoft bashing here, one can always come up with the same pearl of wisdom - "Then don't use it". That does not mean something is not wrong.

Go fuck your self, you asshole, or go and suck Steve's dick. Enough of this apple fanboi bullshit.

Re:Go suck Steve's dick somewhere.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890885)

Your point was horrible until the insults. That's when I realized you've thought through these issues rationally and became convinced you are correct.

Re:Go suck Steve's dick somewhere.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27892731)

er... maybe he is....

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890293)

And then Steve Jobs comes to your house in the middle of the night, and drags you kicking and screaming to the store and forces you to buy it with a gun to your head... oh wait, steve jobs actually does come to my house every night and checks to see if i'm worthy of the apple lifestyle statement, and he also does me up the pooper with a cucumber!

there, fixed that for ya

Right... (4, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887981)

Well, 3G netbooks are pretty common and you can indeed buy some tele plans with a netbook for free. Oddly enough, often ones without a 3G modem. I on the other hand bought my acer one with 3G just from a shop for 259 euro.

So what exactly is the problem? Only an idiotic laptop company is going to make their new laptop exclusive to a telecom. Phones, yes, they need a telecom. PC's don't.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888027)

For example, you would get the laptop for cheap, say $500, but then you would be tied in a 2 year contract with AT&T (or some other cell provider) to get "unlimited" data that really isn't unlimited, costs you a fortune, and theres no other way to buy the laptop.

I have never had a portable subsidised by a phone company, and I don't think the mere presence of 3G should mean a subsidised system. Steve Jobs has already indicated that phone companies should simply concentrate on the connectivity, ie the service side of things. I believe he is going to try to force the phone companies to accept the new reality, whether they like it or not.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889401)

Note, with phones and netbooks, the contract offers typically involve you getting it for free (at least, here in the UK). If you pay for the device, you don't have any strings attached. Whilst admittedly it is a problem with phones that there's less choice on Pay As You Go, there are loads of netbooks available without conditions (indeed, it seems more the other way round - most netbooks are just sold like normal laptops, and only a few allow you to get them as part of a contract).

Although given Apple's Iphone, it wouldn't surpise me if they expect people to both pay for the machine, and then sign into a contract...

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (0)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888113)

In Capitalist West you hack tethering.
In Soviet Woztonia, AT&T connects to you.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (4, Insightful)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888213)

I know I find it confusing that my MacBook has both bluetooth and wifi. It also has an ethernet port! All these network connections are confusing my poor Mac-addled brain.

Or, you know, you could turn the 3G off if you didn't want to pay for it? Like MobileMe.

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (1)

Mark Hood (1630) | more than 5 years ago | (#27892505)

And the iPhone already uses Wi-Fi when available, and 3G (or GPRS if you got an old one) when it's not.

It seamlessly switches, and you never use the telco network when you're at home...

Something tells me any Mac with a 3G card in would do the same.

Mark

Re:Why, that's a nice gift horse (1)

Gery (13478) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888631)

Here in europe its quite common to subsidize prices of mobile phones and laptops with 3G. So you get 300 - 400 EUR off the price if you bundle it with a 3G contract. And 3G costs around EUR 9 here in Austria (per month). So its quite a good deal...

Off-topic - How do I fix the front page? (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887561)

Can someone tell me what the hell's wrong with Slashdot's front page? I want my low-bandwidth, dialup-friendly version back but despite changing my preference multiple times, I'm getting some frakked-up yellow-and-white monstrosity.

Re:Off-topic - How do I fix the front page? (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887615)

I'm getting some frakked-up yellow-and-white monstrosity.

Did someone really get a frosty piss?

Re:Off-topic - How do I fix the front page? (1, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887725)

Can someone tell me what the hell's wrong with Slashdot's front page?

No, but I suspect you're preferences include one of the "beta" options. If you uncheck those, you're probably fine. I guess the operative word in this day and age where UIs evolve into unusable states is "Classic Mode". While I'm at it ...

Disabling javascript goes a long way to making Slashdot more usable, irrespective of your connection speed.

Opting for "Plain Old Text" is will go a long way to ensure your posts are actually readable by everyone else. The only benefit the HMTL option offers is numbering/bullets.

Off-topic - mod with a laser, not a sledge hammer (3, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888671)

Opting for "Plain Old Text" is will go a long way to ensure your posts are actually readable by everyone else. The only benefit the HMTL option offers is numbering/bullets.

I use the "old-school" UI, and didn't know there was a WYSIWYG editor. Fortunately, the "ol" tag works, so marking up your own text is still the better option imo (less strain, too, not having to keep reaching for a mouse or touch pad).

Further off topic to whomever moderated my parent and gp OT. I know those comments were off the subject of this story. The gp made that clear by putting "OT" in the subject line. The author also gave a concise summary of the content of his comment, so people who could actually address his question - like my parent - could take the time to read it and respond.

If the gp had simply replied to the same "Why, that's a nice gift horse" thread as everyone else, modding him OT would have been appropriate. But he didn't. He started his own thread, labelled clearly and asked his question. There is nowhere else to post a question that many slashdotters are likely to see, unless you're in the habit of reading journals (I'm not). From the looks of things he got some advice that may also be helpful to others who are having trouble with the UI.

Modding him and my parent OT

  1. is overkill
  2. decreases the chances that his question will be answered, as people who don't browse at -1 won't see it
  3. accomplishes nothing, other than perhaps making a mod feel good about himself for slapping down a noob.

These types of moderations used to be addressed with meta-moderation, but unfortunately, that's another off topic rant about a UI that has devolved into an unuseable state.

Re:Off-topic - mod with a laser, not a sledge hamm (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890655)

(less strain, too, not having to keep reaching for a mouse or touch pad).

Where the hell do you keep your mouse or touchpad that you need to strain to reach it? If you keep it next to your keyboard it's a lot easier to use.

Re:Off-topic - How do I fix the front page? (4, Funny)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887763)

Just grab the RSS feed. Sure, you don't get the summary immediately, just the headline. But then, by seeing that you've already read more about the topic than most of the other people commenting :)

Slashdot Front Page Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27887569)

Y'know, it's helpful to know that accessing the RSS feed takes away most of the reason to subscribe. Except if you really want "first post." Probably not helpful the way VA^WSourceForge would like, though.

Landlines anyone? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27887577)

"most of us have gotten accustomed to the idea of one Internet connection per household" - why does this sound familliar?

Nothing new here... (5, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887579)

The submission makes it sound as if there's some big mystery about adding 3G to a laptop that Apple has to solve. But there are other laptop makers out there besides Apple, and almost all of them have been putting 3G in their notebooks for years now. This is a feature that Apple is just behind on, and especially if they want to keep *any* semblance of a business market (and designers and photographers run businesses too - and a lot of them are freelance, working outside), then it's something they really need to catch up on.

It's a big and obvious mistake to suggest that 3G connectivity is meant to replace wi-fi. 3G connectivity is meant to replace, well, not having any connectivity. Laptops are meant to be portable, and they can go lots of places where wi-fi doesn't exist.

I can't believe I actually even have to explain this.

Re:Nothing new here... (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887747)

It also seems weird to overlook the fact that:
  • Apple makes mobile phones - is it too much of a stretch to imagine that a job posting related to mobile phone technology would be connected to this?
  • You can connect to the mobile network from OS X already with either a 3G phone that supports bluetooth or a dongle. The OS already has drivers and higher-layer support for these technologies.

And let's not forget that 3G is a marketing term, not a technology. Do they mean UMTS, HSPA, or LTE? Adding 3G support to a laptop intended for worldwide distribution is likely to cause difficulties as different countries (and even different states in the USA) have different levels of deployment of 3-4G technologies.

Re:Nothing new here... (5, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888291)

Actually OS X supports some 3G cards OK.

E.g. here's a guide to install OS X on a Dell Mini 9

http://i.gizmodo.com/5156903/how-to-hackintosh-a-dell-mini-9-into-the-ultimate-os-x-netbook [gizmodo.com]

Follow this tutorial [mydellmini.com] to get your mobile broadband working if your Mini 9 has it. Network preferences should recognize it out of the box.

Now what's interesting about this is that the Dell 5530 wireless card is supported the bundled OS X drivers.

Re:Nothing new here... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889433)

You can connect to the mobile network from OS X already with either a 3G phone that supports bluetooth or a dongle.

Just so long as your phone isn't an Iphone, of course ;)

Re:Nothing new here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27887825)

Apple is behind on nothing. Apples do not have because people do NOT need it.

Re:Nothing new here... (5, Informative)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888085)

I'm not sure if i'd want a 3G modem built in, it becomes a little harder to get the modem in position for good reception. I'm happier using my HSPDA modem outside of my laptop.
plus with a pay as you go contract i'm free to use the thing or not as required. There is also an issue of roaming which is quite easy to encounter at which point the data plan goes out the window, and you pay through the nose.

People are being fooled a little into thinking a mobile internet connection will only work for one computer
for Linux users its pretty easy to share it /etc/sysctl.conf change this line to net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
and the following
ifconfig eth0 192.168.2.1
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o ppp0 -s 192.168.2.0/24 -j MASQUERADE
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i ppp0 -p tcp --dport 3074 -j DNAT --to-destination 192.168.2.254
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i ppp0 -p udp --dport 88 -j DNAT --to-destination 192.168.2.254
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i ppp0 -p udp --dport 3074 -j DNAT --to-destination 192.168.2.254
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i ppp0 -p udp -m multiport --dports 88,3074 -j DNAT --to-destination 192.168.2.254
iptables -A FORWARD -i ppp0 -d 192.168.2.254 -p tcp --dport 3074 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A FORWARD -i ppp0 -d 192.168.2.254 -p udp -m multiport --dports 88,3074 -j ACCEPT

can be run as a script by root.
all you then need to do is connect eth0 on the to the wan port on a router and set the wan port to a static address of 192.168.2.254 and a gateway of 192.168.2.1 set dns to 192.168.2.1

and now you have a lan using a 3g interface, incidentally tethering a mobile will use ppp0 so once you can connect with the tethered mobile you can do the same.

My setup goes one step further chaining a second router to expand the range using tomato firmware and wds +access point mode. Performance wise it seems reasonable, the Eircom adsl link I used before used to top out at about 300kb/s download - 3G hspda modem 222kb/s The relatively small cap of 10gb in 30 days is a bit limiting but I figure the last day of the month will be good to use up whats remaining of the cap.

If you don't want to tie up a computer sharing there are a number of routers available for about 100 which will do the same job.

Re:Nothing new here... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888509)

If you look around you can buy a SBC which runs at automotive voltages and has the proper connectors to mount of of these "3G" cards and a WiFi card, and just put the card and the repeater in your whip so that it goes where you go. (Or if you're less car-centric, you could put it in a little box with a handle or something.)

Re:Nothing new here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27895413)

I'm not sure if i'd want a 3G modem built in, it becomes a little harder to get the modem in position for good reception.

A built-in modem is likely to perform better than a mobile phone, no matter how you position it, simply because a laptop offers more space for antennas, and because chip area and power consumption are less of an issue.

ASUS already does this (5, Informative)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887603)

I think many people are not aware that some ASUS EeePC netbooks already have an HSPA modem (a.k.a. 3.75G) builtin.

E.g. the model 901 GO sold in Italy or in Germany. They're pretty awesome, you can find them on Ebay and at least the Italian ones were sold by the operator TIM, but they are not locked in any way.

Re:ASUS already does this (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887667)

I seem to remember seeing Dell Mini 9's with 3G modems as well. Can't you buy cheap 3G netbooks subsidized by a phone company if you get a multi-year plan in many places? Personally, I'm fine with Bluetooth tethering through my phone.

Re:ASUS already does this (1)

monktus (742861) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888375)

I can just imagine the PC World sales guys now...

"Don't buy that Mac, this Asus has an extra quarter of a G!"

Why a peripheral? (3, Insightful)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887639)

"It wouldn't surprise me if Apple had such a thing in the pipeline, an Airport station (Airport Mobility?) that didn't need to be plugged into the wall."

Surely there is no point (yet) in using 3G in a household? Especially due to the (much) higher connectivity cost - the only real reason to use it at the moment is on-the-go, which renders an additional device redundant if it's built into the machine. I'll be surprised if such a peripheral is introduced (this year/soon)

Re:Why a peripheral? (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887669)

A friend of mine who lives in a country area in Australia has a device from Telstra which talks 3G to the phone network and wifi locally. It also has a normal telephone socket so you can use it to make voice calls. Taken as a package (broadband plus voice) it is actually a very competitive service, considering his location.

Re:Why a peripheral? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889665)

Not wishing to diss your cobber in the outback, but that's a pretty unusual case, and it's not like he has many alternatives.

Re:Why a peripheral? (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27896241)

Not that unusual actually. 3G broadband is really quite common in Australia and many other countries. I know plenty of households that use it are their main connection, and share it via a router. It's very common for students in sharehouses too because they aren't fixed to a particular location, so when they move house (which happens regularly), their internet plan goes with them.

Hell, I'm on regular 24 Mbps ADSL2+ in an urban area in Australia. But my DSL modem/router still offers a fall-back to a 3G connection if the DSL line fails. It's becoming rather common for laptops, home routers etc to have 3G capability actually.

Mesh Networks (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27892661)

Surely there is no point (yet) in using 3G in a household? Especially due to the (much) higher connectivity cost - the only real reason to use it at the moment is on-the-go, which renders an additional device redundant if it's built into the machine. I'll be surprised if such a peripheral is introduced (this year/soon)

Well, at the price cell phone companies charge for data in some countries, I am not sure I would want 3G data. On the other hand if they reduced the cost, then I might be interested in this. Something else that would be interesting is if we saw the development of wi-fi mesh networks. Sure there are some issues to be worked out, but if the service providers helped out in the solution, then it could be interesting.

Not exclusive, stupid summary (4, Insightful)

benjymouse (756774) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887665)

I have a Dell XPS notebook with built-in 3G card. I also run it on wireless and even connect the ethernet port from time to time. I use the 3G modem when I'm in a train to/from work, waiting at the station, attending meetings, conferences or when I'm on vacation. Of course the data plan costs extra, but being able to connect at all times is really, really convenient. I can even share out the internet connection effectively letting my notebook act as an access point.

Summary makes it sound like this is exclusive or that there isn't a market for it. Of course there is. Having broadband/fiber connectivity in your home does not mean that don't need on-the-road connectivity as well.

One Internet connection per household... (4, Informative)

dadman (576569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887675)

is no longer the trend here in Asia, at least in HK, Japan and S. Korea where we have cheap, unlimited internet connection over 3G from the PC or Notebook, mostly via HSDPA (7.2/14.4 Downlink, see Smartone-Vodafone [smartone-vodafone.com] ), HSPA+ (21Mbps downlink, see HK CSL [hkcsl.com] )

Naturally, it would be much more convenient if this is built-in.

In fact, many netbooks are already has HSPA modem built-in, and some are already working at 21Mbps speed, such as this one [hkcsl.com] .

--

i would like apple more (0, Offtopic)

ifeelswine (1546221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887681)

if they brought back the McRib. can anyone tell me why it was discontinued? it was a popular item. Seriously, since they've cancelled it my life feels like I'm just going through motions, nothing makes me really happy and nothing makes me really sad.

Laptop seems more likely. (4, Insightful)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887697)

But will the target market be willing to take on the additional telecom charge?

Well, plenty of laptop computers have built in 3G modems, but inserting a SIM card and using the 3G connection is optional. And it's not like they found it hard to get people to buy the iPhone, even though there was a telecom charge involved.

'most of us have gotten accustomed to the idea of one Internet connection per household, shared with a wireless router. [...] It wouldn't surprise me if Apple had such a thing in the pipeline, an Airport station (Airport Mobility?) that didn't need to be plugged into the wall.

I think most people accustomed to one internet connection shared with a router already have a wired internet connection. Given that a 3G connection costs more per megabyte, and may be less reliable, I don't think many people accustomed to wired internet would switch to a 3G connection for their home internet connection.

Now, people who travel around with a laptop, I can understand. But why would such a person choose a 'personal hotspot' with its size, and its own battery in need of charging, when they could have the 3G modem built into their laptop?

Granted, there might be a market where groups of people were travelling for business, or for individuals who preferred WiFi to USB or Bluetooth as a means of connecting to a modem, but if I was Apple a laptop with a 3G modem in it would be a much more logical thing to release than what's being proposed here.

Re:Laptop seems more likely. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887767)

A couple of the mobile broadband providers here (UK) will sell you a WiFi router that you plug your USB dongle into. I can imagine a few use-cases for it. Leave it plugged in at home and share the connection with all of your computers, then just take the USB stick with you when travelling, or pack the router in your luggage and share Internet access when you have a meeting somewhere with a few people (although in this case in the past we've just set up an ad-hoc network and shared the connection via that from one laptop).

This is nothing new... (5, Informative)

warlock (14079) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887729)

Apple has done it allready with the iPhone nearly 3 years ago!

My iPhone 3G prefers the available and configured WiFi connections at home and at work and falls back to 3G everywhere else.

I'm wondering why it took them so long to add this to their laptop range... it would be very useful to have connectivity everywhere.

In europe most 3G network operators have been oferring subsidised laptops (mostly 3G enabled netbooks from dell, hp etc) with 3G data contracts for over a year now.

Unfortunately said contracts usually come with low data caps (like 5 or 10GB) but the point of 3G is to complement WiFi access and not replace it -- meaning that they provide the reassurance that you will be connected anywhere, anytime, but you should plan to download gigs of stuff while on a WiFi network instead.

Re:This is nothing new... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887773)

In europe most 3G network operators have been oferring subsidised laptops (mostly 3G enabled netbooks from dell, hp etc) with 3G data contracts for over a year now.

When you sell it like that, it's easy. But if you're creating a single laptop for worldwide distribution, do you put in EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, or LTE hardware?

Re:This is nothing new... (1)

warlock (14079) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888067)

You make it sound harder than it is... They did have to make that choice years ago when they were designing the iPhone 3G for worldwide distribution and they picked:

Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) for GPRS/EDGE

and

Tri-band UMTS/HSDPA (850/1900/2100)

it is possible that the next revision of the iPhone and any possible Wireless WAN enabled Macs will add support for LTE to that, but even if they stick to what the iPhone 3G supports, they've got most of the world market covered allready.

Re:This is nothing new... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888547)

You put in a little slot so that you can plug in the appropriate type of card for the target market. There's a mini-pci-express (wtfever it's called) standard that ONLY has power and USB2, it is very common for plugging in stuff like that. It still has the standard connector that would carry a pci-e x1 or whatever signal and a USB2 next to it (I think only USB2 is mandatory to call the connector... whatever it is called... you can see how long it's been since I looked this up) but only the USB2 is provided, so that level of compatibility can be provided even on systems with nothing more exotic than PCI buses.

So long as those contracts are not compulsory.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888205)

So long as the contracts are not compulsory I have no problem with apple providing the "option".

However, if they tack this on like the iphone, any malfunction could end up saddling me with massive bills from nowhere.

A lot of college students buy macs, including the professional lines. Exposing them to the potential of nasty, unexpected bills could alienate that sector, and in so doing create a whole new generation of "i only use windows" robots.

One BIG ole' problem with household use 3g... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27887823)

When would they "cell phone companies" be willing to allow unlimited data usage? Many of us, (I'm quite certain in this Slashdot community are included) use mounds and mounds of data... Torrents, browsing, downloading, serving, etc. And every current 3g 'modem' that exists has a 5 gig or so cap. Are they now willing to break that barrier? Christ, we can't even get Slingbox to clear as an iPhone app because AT&T is afraid of the fragility of their network....

Just a thought, a playful thought....

-BMP

Re:One BIG ole' problem with household use 3g... (1)

dmnic (452122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27893837)

one of my remote depot/cross-docks has a 5 port router with a pcmcia slot. that slot holds a standard Verizon aircard that anyone can buy. it's not a "business" only piece of hardware or special contract service either...we pay the same price as any consumer would for the hardware and monthly contract.

what's he smoking? (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27887867)

most of us have gotten accustomed to the idea of one Internet connection per household, shared with a wireless router.

Yes, and so what?

You may not have noticed if you've been living under the rock these past few years, but Apple's biggest success is in the notebook market. The MacBook Pro was even lauded as "the best windows notebook on the market today" when it came out.

If you have a notebook, it makes a lot of sense to have a 3G connection built-in. Those USB dongles are a pain, and as with most additional stuff, you just want less of it to lug around all the time. That's for when you are away from home, you know?

As for the "3G router" - in some areas that would indeed be a market (some of Scandinavia has better wireless than wired connections, as does much of Africa) but it would very likely not be a new product, but more of an additional option for the Airport Extreme.

As for "additional telco costs" - bullshit with cream. Just because you have the hardware built-in doesn't mean you have to have a contract. When you buy an UMTS package today, they'll gladly sell you additional hardware (those USB dongles, etc.) but you can already buy both hardware and contract alone.

Re:what's he smoking? (1)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890817)

As for the "3G router" - in some areas that would indeed be a market (some of Scandinavia has better wireless than wired connections, as does much of Africa) but it would very likely not be a new product, but more of an additional option for the Airport Extreme.

And Apple is SO well known for making products that are aimed at non-US markets...

</sarcasm>

Since Steve's second coming, I don't think they've made any significant regional adjustments to products other than localization, and legally required changes to be able to sell the product. Before that, there were a few products that were targeted at Japan (like the PowerBook 2400c).

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that 3G won't be added to some products. And I'm not complaining about the lack of international attention, since I've lived within walking distance of Apple HQ for the past 6 months... ;-) I'm just saying Apple will work in its mysterious ways - if they think there's a market, they'll sell it. Sometimes that works out well (iPod, iPhone), sometimes not (iPod Hi-Fi), and sometimes it's rather middling (Apple TV).

Re:what's he smoking? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27895515)

If you have a notebook, it makes a lot of sense to have a 3G connection built-in.

Not really. If you have a laptop, it's highly likely you have a 3G capable mobile phone with Bluetooth. When you can just "dial-in" via the 3G capable phone in your pocket (without even taking it out), why would you want that same capability in the laptop and the hassle of maintaining multiple phone accounts ?

Re:what's he smoking? (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903141)

Because you don't?

What makes you think everyone has a 3G phone, much less one that makes tethering possible, and a mobile contract that allows that?

By my estimate, a lot less than "everyone".

G1 (1)

ponraul (1233704) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888103)

I already can create a "MiFi" hotspot wherever I go with the G1 adhoc wifi tethering application.

MacBookProTable + iPhone = awesomeness (0, Troll)

Shishak (12540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888155)

12" netbook with multi-touch display, Full OS X, MBP Power. wifi + 3G would be great. I always have my laptop with me anyway and with blue tooth hands free my phone would just 'work'

Wise folks at Apple (1)

parryFromIndia (687708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27888343)

Pay attention - If you really do end up putting 3G chips in the Mac, please let people choose which cell phone company they want to sell their soul to. I have a nagging feeling Apple will again do the tie-up thing and force people to use the carrier they can make money from. And god forbid if that is AT&T the whole thing is just useless for many people like me who when on ATT 3G get speeds equal to T-Mo Edge and then a move a few miles out of town means not even getting a reliable Edge connection on ATT network. It would be most useful if they went with something like the Gobi.

stop with the basically blind speculation plz (1)

floodo1 (246910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27889499)

Srsly, Front page of slashdot for wild speculation about recent Apple job postings? You'd think after decades of this game of predicting what Apple is going to do, largely by wide eyed fanatics would have become dull and old :(

How about we just wait and see so no one gets there hopes up about this pure speculation.

Re:stop with the basically blind speculation plz (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891193)

You'd think after decades of this game of predicting what Apple is going to do, largely by wide eyed fanatics would have become dull and old

Especially since such speculation is wrong more often than not. Whatever labels people try to stick onto Apple, "predictable" is not one that can fairly be applied. They continue to have a remarkable ability to pull off surprises.

Kindle Whispernet (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891143)

Given that Kindle's Whispernet is already doing this, and that it would distinguish Apple notebooks from the better priced PC variety, and that an Apple tablet is rumored to be in the works which would give Kindle a run for its money, and iPhones already talk to 3G networks, it makes sense to do it in the notebooks and the tablet.

3G G3 (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 5 years ago | (#27893511)

Pity it's too late for a 3G G3....

AT&T Data Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27893947)

AT&T does not advertise a "UNLIMITED" data connect plan for their aircard services. Sorry, but your just spreading old tales that do not currently exist. It's 5GB of data use, plain & simple, for $60 dollars a month.

Your probably one of those dumb customers who was sweet talked by some kid who said "Unlimited" but did not read the contract that he told you to simply sign away.

eh? What's the news (1)

Marin3 (988561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27895555)

I got a 3 year old Fujitsu Laptop with an integrated 3g chip. No problems here whatsoever. Most laptops have it for years as an optional feature, so what's the news here? Apple came on late. I don't get how we keep talking about apple over and over about features implemented in other brands way before.

What additional telecom charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27896307)

Having 3G hardware does not mean you actually have to get a data plan and use it.

3G has become cheap enough to consider it as a standard feature that could be built into every mobile computer.

Computers, especially mobile ones, have always had built-in hardware features not everyone would use: analogue modems, Bluetooth, WLAN, (wired) Ethernet, parallel printer ports, Firewire, webcams, PCMCIA/PC Card/ExpressCard, VGA/DVI ports...

It still makes economically sense to include these features: It would be more expensive to have them as an option and many people prefer to have them "just in case".

ajglu3000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27900369)

he's the comics curmudgeon

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?