One of the most significant advantages of the iPad over Macs has been the ability to set up a cellular plan on Apple’s tablets. It has allowed users to stay connected and work on the go without depending on Wi-Fi networks or creating personal hotspots from their iPhones. But what if this convenience could be extended to MacBook models as well?
According to a recent article by Mark Gurman in Bloomberg’s Power On newsletter, Apple is reportedly working on a cellular MacBook. This news has certainly piqued the interest of many MacBook users who have long wished for built-in cellular connectivity on their devices.
Gurman mentions that Apple’s success with its in-house Apple Silicon chips has fueled its ambitions to design its own cellular modem. The company is also looking to replace Broadcom’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi processor with its own. This move would not only allow Apple to gain greater control over its hardware components but also reduce its dependence on external suppliers such as Qualcomm.
However, Gurman adds a note of caution, stating that Apple’s journey in creating its own cellular chip has not been without its challenges. In fact, the development of this technology has hit roadblocks, leading to a delay in the release of Apple’s 5G modem until at least 2026. Given these difficulties, it is unlikely that Apple will be able to release a cellular MacBook in the near future.
If Apple is able to overcome these hurdles and successfully create its own cellular modem, Gurman suggests that it will be integrated into all of Apple’s products, including the Apple Watch, iPad, and eventually, the MacBook. This integration into the system-on-a-chip (SoC) would position Apple as a leader in wireless connectivity within its product ecosystem.
The potential for a cellular MacBook is certainly exciting, as it would enable users to work and stay connected wherever they are, without relying on external Wi-Fi networks. This would be beneficial not only to professionals like journalists and digital nomads but also to anyone who likes the flexibility of working in cafes, libraries, or bookshops. No longer would one have to scramble for a reliable Wi-Fi connection or drain their iPhone battery by creating a personal hotspot.
However, it is important to approach this news with a dose of skepticism. Apple’s struggles in developing its own cellular chip indicate that this technology is nowhere near ready for mass production or competing with established players like Qualcomm. The success of a cellular MacBook hinges on Apple’s ability to create a reliable and efficient cellular modem. If the company cannot deliver on this front, the dream of a cellular MacBook may remain just that – a dream.
So, while the idea of a cellular MacBook is certainly enticing, it seems that its arrival may be far off in the future. Apple’s focus for now is on perfecting its Apple Silicon chips and resolving the challenges in developing its own cellular modem. Perhaps, sometime later in this decade, we may witness the realization of a cellular MacBook. But until then, MacBook users will have to rely on their trusty iPhones or find Wi-Fi networks to stay connected on the go.