The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has today published a newly granted patent for Apple, that covers a cellular MacBook antenna which could be hidden in the cavity of a MacBook display hinge.
According to PatentlyApple, the company has been working on a MacBook with cellular connectivity for over seven years, and that a future MacBook could support wireless communications circuitry that operates in long-range communications bands like cell phones. The source however adds that Apple will have to work with Intel or some other source for a cellular solution because it is currently at war with Qualcomm.
Microsoft OEM’s like Huawei and Lenovo will introduce notebooks with cellular connectivity this year as will most major OEMs. Even Xiaomi introduced one in late December for the Chinese market. This will be a real test for Apple this year. Will they finally deliver a cellular MacBook solution beyond tethering an iPhone for real power users, or will they ignore this emerging trend to continue to support their iPad Pro product line.
Apple’s patent figure (shown above) is a cross-sectional side view of MacBook having a lid in an open position and having antenna structures built-in that would support cellular antennas that could also be used for telephony and not only data. In addition, the device may also support NFC and satellite navigation system communications.
The patent was originally filed by Apple in Q2 2015.