Report: Evidence suggests 3G capabilities in upcoming Macbook and/or Tablet

Tue, May 5, 2009

News, Rumors

Seth Weintraub over at Computerworld points to an interesting job posting from Apple’s website.  The title of the position is “Communications QA Engineer” and the responsibilities include:

Testing and reporting hardware, software, and device driver bugs for Communications technologies including AirPort (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth v2.0, gigabit Ethernet, and/or 3G Wireless WAN in a detailed, timely manner.

One of the employee requirements for the position states:

Must possess in-depth knowledge of one or more Comms technologies, including Gigabit Ethernet for consumer and enterprise-class workstations, Bluetooth v2.0, 3G Wireless WAN, and Wi-Fi [802.11] a/b/g/n including all associated security modes, authentication types and protocols for Access Points and Clients.

The reference to 3G Wireless WAN testing suggests that Apple might soon be adding 3G wireless capabilities to either its line of MacBooks or, perhaps, to the often rumored, yet never officially announced, Apple tablet.

Interestingly, BusinessWeek reported just last week that Apple has been in talks with Verizon to launch an Apple “media pad” which would allow users to listen to music, browse the web, and view HD media content.

But what does Verizon have to do with a mythical Apple tablet?  “Always-on” Internet access via 3G perhaps?

Weintraub speculates that given the supposed talks between Apple and Verizon, it’s possible that “this hardware will be the EVDO variety.”  He goes on to state,

It could even work on both types of US 3G networks with a Quallcom Gobi wireless radio.  That would allow Apple customers to use any of the wireless carriers in the US as well as the most international 3G carriers.

Luckily for us, this year’s WWDC is only about a month away, so we won’t have to wait long to see what kind of tricks Apple has up its sleeve.


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