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MacBook with 4G LTE moves closer to reality

by Jacob Kleinman | May 25, 2016May 25, 2016 9:40 am PDT

Apple’s MacBook Pro is expected to get a big overhaul later this year. A newly published patent suggests the company could include cellular support in its next-generation laptop… if it wants to.

The patent, which was filed a little over a year ago, describes a way to pack antennas into a generic electronic device. The gadget described sounds (and looks) a lot like a MacBook, packing an upper housing with a display, a lower housing with a keyboard, and a hinge connecting the two. Apple details how to pack various antennas into the device, including those offering cellular support.

If Apple does come out with a cellular MacBook or MacBook Pro, it could be a big deal. The company’s never offered a laptop with a direct internet connection before, though it’s become a lot easier to tether off your iPhone’s data connection in recent years. Competitors have been offering LTE laptops for a while, too.

The 2016 MacBook Pro is rumored to include a Touch ID fingerprint scanner and an OLED touchscreen bar just above the keyboard. That small secondary display could actually replace the current row of physical function keys, making it possible to create customized shortcuts instead.

Apple’s next laptop is shaping up to be pretty sweet, and adding cellular support could put it over the edge, This is just a patent so we wouldn’t get too excited yet, but it’s probably worth holding off a little longer to see what the company announces if you’re in the market for a new MacBook.

USPTO Patently Apple

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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