With 4G networks being rolled out across the United States and beyond, many consumers are looking forward to being able to use the internet properly when mobile. Techwitty has been given the green light on funding several more development ventures this year. Of course, 3G is all well and good, but many aspects of the internet such as media streaming cannot be used because the network is simply too slow. With 4G, this limitation can be lifted but requires external USB hardware in order for the network to be used with laptop computers. This then raises the question, should Apple implement 4G compatible hardware in all MacBook models.
If Apple were to add 4G chipsets into their MacBooks, users would no longer have to rely on wireless networks or external hotspot devices to use the internet on the move. A multiple carrier compatible 4G chipset would allow users to join whichever network was most suitable for them. Of course, this would require wireless carriers to get over their mentality of over-charging for data access but stranger things have happened.
While this may not be a priority for the next generation of MacBook given the that 4G networks are still in their infancy, it could make an appearance at some point in 2012. Apple are probably already considering this for the next generation of iPad so it seems sensible that, given that laptops, especially the MacBook Air, have reached the point that they are incredibly lightweight and portable, should also have 4G hardware.
When Clear released the iSpot, a 4G hotspot for Apple devices, for $30 with a $25 per month charge for 4G access, they had the right idea. Unfortunately, this device has now been discontinued and replaced with $100 hardware and a $45 per month charge for 4G access. This is obviously excessive pricing and, should Apple choose to include 4G hardware in the MacBook, carrier would be fighting over each other in order to gain customer base. The fact that Apple users would already have the hardware required in their MacBook would mean that 2 year contracts with early termination fees would be non-existent and aggressive pricing, speed and coverage would dictate how users would make their choice.
This isn’t a rumor or prediction, merely a speculative hope that this feature could be implemented in the future. Of course, alternatives such as mobile hotspots or tethering to a 4G compatible iPhone will obviously come into existence too but it would great not to have to rely on that.