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Ivan's picture

Sim cards in Apple Laptops?

I do not understand why Apple's mobile computers such as the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro do not have cell phone radios in them. These radios are very small and relatively cheap nowadays. Apple could easily design these laptops to have a slot for a SIM card like iPhones and iPads have. I don't expect them to add it on iMacs or Mac Pros, but for mobile computers I think it's clearly a good feature to have. Having those USB sticks sticking out of our USB ports is inconvenient and ugly. The third party software that comes with them is usually a hit and miss. Compared with the iPad mobile experience it's a pain.

If Apple laptops had SIM card slots they could allow cell phone companies to sell these laptops with mobile data subscriptions expanding the retail network significantly.

To pay for the radios Apple could negotiate a special package with a globally accessible cell phone company to have a default built-in SIM card to provide emergency internet access for a relatively higher price, but free monthly stand-by fee. This basic package could be upgraded or replaced by any other SIM card for less expensive data packages. Besides giving mobile connectivity the default card would allow lost laptops to be found easier with the Find My iPhone app.

What do you think?

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on September 1, 2012.

Waleed's picture
540 pencils

I completely agree..
In 2007, I saw a couple of photographers covering a football match, and one of them had a Fujitsu laptop. I asked him about the benefits of Fujitsu, compared to the more common brands. His answer was: I can use a SIM card, and transmit the images directly.. The other photographer had a USB modem and was playing the drivers wars.

ItalianMike's picture
303 pencils

Technically even when using a USB modem you don't have to use the crappy software you get from your cellular company. If you do some research you can program OS-X to dial out when the modem is attached. In my experience it works better than with the crappy software from the cellular company.

Personally I don't think this idea is so great. We all have smart phones and can easily share connection from the phone to the laptop.

Ivan's picture

Good point.

plugz's picture
1245 pencils

I don't even have a 3G iPad, there's no need for multiple SIMs and accounts with carriers. Just use your iPhone as a hotspot. I got a MiFi unit actually to use as a dedicated hotspot, it's tiny, fits in my pocket and keeps me with a personal WiFi network all day for any device.

Ivan's picture

Interesting. Can you link the device?

Alex's picture
397 pencils

Completely agree - I use the iPhone as wifi hotspot even for my iPad, which is the sim-card model.

It is fast, I can connect quickly and easily and I only have one data account to manage.

Plus, I'm more likely to upgrade my phone than my laptop, so when the '4G LTE' iPhone is out, my laptop instantly benefits from the faster speeds.

The other thing to consider is that a mobile data connection would drain battery life - try turning it off on an iPhone and just using wifi to see what I mean.

I also don't really see any advantage to sim cards in laptops for anyone other than journalists or reporting photographers.

Art D. Rector's picture
3164 pencils

I like the idea, but I'm guessing Apple is afraid of cutting into their iPhone sales.

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