There was a time when Apple's engineers were focused on developing a MacBook with built-in cellular connectivity. The patents dried up in 2015 and I began thinking it was another rejected project until this morning. A fresh, up to date patent filing shows us that the cellular MacBook may be back in play.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 illustrates a MacBook and FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an illustrative antenna with a cavity that has been formed from metal traces on a dielectric carrier that also serves as a speaker box in accordance with an embodiment.
Apple notes that "Wireless communications circuitry may include radio-frequency transceiver circuitry for handling voice data and non-voice data in various radio-frequency communications bands. For example, circuitry 34 may include wireless local area network transceiver circuitry to handle 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands for WiFi (IEEE 802.11) communications and to handle the 2.4 GHz Bluetooth communications band. The circuitry may include cellular telephone transceiver circuitry for handling wireless communications in frequency ranges such as a low communications band from 700 to 960 MHz, a mid-band from 1710 to 2170 MHz, and a high band from 2300 to 2700 MHz or other communications bands between 700 MHz and 2700 MHz or other suitable frequencies (as examples).
Apple clarifies in patent point 36 that "Storage and processing circuitry may be used to run software on device 10, such as internet browsing applications, telephone call applications, email applications, media playback applications, voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) and operating system functions, etc. Communications protocols that may be implemented using storage and processing circuitry include internet protocols, wireless local area network protocols (e.g., IEEE 802.11 protocols--sometimes referred to as WiFi), protocols for other short-range wireless communications links such as the Bluetooth protocol, cellular telephone protocols, MIMO protocols, antenna diversity protocols, etc."
Apple patent application 20160261022 was originally filed in Q1 2015. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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