Apple MacBook 2017 to sport built-in LTE connectivity, reveals patent

Apple could be contemplating a new range of MacBook 2017 featuring built-in cellular connectivity, a new patent filing to this effect revealed.

The patent, as described by the US Patent and Trademark Office, will allow Apple to embed related LTE hardware into the MacBook 2017, which perhaps will make this the first instance of a notebook device offering enhanced data connectivity. The patent meanwhile also has mention of Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and satellite connectivity as well and dwells upon ways to get enhanced signals with least interference from the metal build of the laptops.

This isn’t anything new though considering Apple had been thinking along these lines for quite some time now. In fact, the patent was first filed on June 8 last year though it’s only now that the request has been granted. A 3G-enabled MacBook Pro was also tested back in 2008 but was eventually rejected by Steve Jobs as he felt it would tie down the user to a particular carrier.

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However, notwithstanding how juicy the prospect of a MacBook offering mobile data connectivity might seem at the moment, its implementation remains just as challenging. The key here would be to ensure the antenna works to its potential with the surrounding meta casing not interfering its signals.

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To overcome this, Apple might include “cavity antennas” placed around the hinge or in between the notebook’s metal casing. That way, there will also be sensors that would work on the antennas as the hinge is opened and closed. The antennas itself will work in the frequency range of 960MHz, 2.17GHz, 2.4GHz, and 5GHz.

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“It can be challenging to form electronic device antenna structures with desired attributes. In some wireless devices, the presence of conductive housing structures can influence antenna performance. Antenna performance may not be satisfactory if the housing structures are not configured properly and interfere with antenna operation,” revealed Patently Apple citing the patent documents.

As of now, integrated data connectivity is something that’s restricted on only the iPad though that again commands a $129 premium over the regular models.

Further, granting of the patent does not again guarantee the said feature making to the very next MacBook emerging from the Cupertino company, if at all it ever does. The best it can serve right now is to ensure Apple has enough ammo at disposal to ward off or fight future litigations on this.