The New MacBook Pro 2013 models are expected within two weeks, as Apple plans a fall event where we should see new MacBook Pro with Retina models in 13″ and 15″ sizes, but Apple still lags behind when it comes to connectivity.
As LTE networks flourish and shared data plans make prices competitive, it’s time for a MacBook Pro LTE option. At this point a new MacBook Pro Retina with LTE and a battery efficient Intel Haswell processor could deliver the mobile connectivity and portability that consumers and power users need from a modern notebook.
While many users carry portable hotspots, iPads and iPhones which can share a LTE signal with a MacBook Pro, using a secondary device is clunky and can drain the battery life of the iPhone incredibly fast, leaving a user without a functional phone when a MacBook Pro would still be ready to go. To top this off, the Sprint and Verizon iPhone 5s models still do not support talk and surf, so an incoming call will cut off access to the internet on a tethered MacBook Pro.
In 2012 Apple won a patent for a MacBook Pro with LTE. The patent, detailed at Patently Apple, highlights a cavity in the MacBook Pro that could fit a 4G LTE antenna. An earlier Macbook Pro 3G prototype appeared on eBay with an external antenna.
While 4G LTE options are not standard on Windows Notebooks for consumers, there are a growing number Windows notebooks that include an option for 4G LTE. Some of these are hybrids like the HP EliteBook Revolve, while others from Lenovo like the ThinkPad T440S offer 4G LTE connections. A 4G LTE notebook is typically more expensive, and may not appeal to every user, but with a higher price and specialized features, a MacBook Pro with Retina also fits this user group. Users are already asking for this feature on Twitter.
If my new Macbook Pro had built-in LTE, it would be 100x more awesome.
— Tyler Ridings (@TylerRidings) June 2, 2013
The Retina MacBook Pro is crying out for integrated LTE. Maybe next year :-(
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 13, 2012
Some rumors claimed a new MacBook Pro with LTE would arrive in 2012, but as a quick glance of the Apple Store shows, there is no 4G LTE option for any Apple notebooks. As Apple works on new MacBook Pro models for 2013, a 4G LTE option is definitely something mobile professionals would still like to see.
The Chromebook Pixel is a 4G LTE notebook that runs on Verizon’s network. The device is only $10 a month to add to a Share Everything data plan, which is an attractive price to bring anywhere connectivity to a new MacBook Pro.
It’s still not clear what Apple is planning for the non Retina MacBook Pro, but as the MacBook Air takes over a role of an entry level notebook and the MacBook Pro with Retina matures in the second generation 4G LTE could be another feature that Apple users to distinguish this model.
With rumors of a new MacBook Pro on October 22nd, that could arrive in stores days after, we have yet to see a solid rumor of a MacBook Pro with LTE. This means we may need to wait for Apple to bring this technology to the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air in 2014, if at all.
Now read, 7 Tips for New MacBook Pro Buyers.