It has always been missing in the MacBook Pro Line, The 3G Connectivity without tethering or using a 3G hotspot. But it never has been made or it did ? An eBay auction shows a non released prototype of MacBook Pro that has an integrated 3G cellular data modem.
macbook 3G 01
The prototype is an 2007 15” Santa Rosa MacBook Pro with integrated 3G antenna, 3G modem and SIM card slot. The device was originally purchased from Craigslist as a non-functional parts machine.

Upon removing the top case it was immediately clear this was no normal Macbook Pro: the circuit boards inside were bright red as opposed to the normal blue! Further inspection found multiple differences from the stock version, most notably a feature never seen in a Macbook laptop of any kind: what appears to be a fully integrated cellular modem and SIM slot. There is an extendable cellular antenna located at the right top side of the display assembly (The antenna is marked with “Tyco Proto / #006” when slid out), and a standard size SIM card slot located underneath the memory cover on the bottom of the machine. The SIM card board is connected to the logic board via a connector not found on production machines. The solder footprint for it is still present on the production boards and not populated, which is interesting. This would seem to suggest that it was a last minute decision to remove the cellular functionality before going into mass production. The optical drive is marked as a “Sample for Evaluation”. Rather than a normal EMC Number the specifications lapel simply says “XXXX”, and the serial number does not show up in Apple’s online database.

The Seller of the device on eBay managed to repair it. The 3G modem is recognized by the OS but there is no actual data connection.
The laptop has a red motherboard which is standard in Apple prototypes and has been seen in several prototype leaks before.

Here is the full specs of the laptop: 

  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz Dual-Core Processor, 4MB L2 Cache
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM (2x 1GB Modules, Expandable to 6GB)
  • 320GB Hard Drive
  • 15.4″ Widescreen LCD Display, 1440 x 900 resolution
  • Slot-load 8x SuperDrive Multiformat DVD-RW Burner
  • nVidida GeForce 8600m Video with 256MB Dedicated Memory
  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Dual-Link DVI Video Out
  • Built-in iSight Webcam
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wireless
  • LED Backlit Keyboard with Ambient Light Sensors
  • ExpressCard/34 Expansion Slot
  • Built-in Bluetooth 2.1
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Cellular Data Modem

More Photos :

                            macbook 3G 02           macbook 3G 07
macbook 3G 08    macbook 3G 06
macbook 3G 04    macbook 3G 05

The Photo below shows the built in SIM slot which shows that Apple used GSM 3G technology instead of CDMA, Allowing the device to work on AT&T and many other international networks. According to OS X the 3G modem is identified as a Dynastream ANT2USB. The 3G antenna is integrated as an extendable antenna along the right side of the lid.
macbook 3G 03
In 2008 Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs told USAToday that he didn’t want to integrate the 3G cellular data modem into MacBooks because it will lock users into a carrier.

Air does not come with the built-in ability to connect to a speedy wireless data network run by various cellular carriers. Jobs told me last week that Apple considered it but that adding the capability would take up room and restrict consumers to a particular carrier. Through a USB modem, he says, you can still subscribe to wireless broadband with your favorite carrier.

Will we see such a MacBook Soon ?

Via | MacRumors


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