Apple’s just been granted a patent for a MacBook with embedded cellular connectivity

By , May 26, 2016

Apple Patent cellular MacBook drawing 002

The United States Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) today granted Apple a brand new patent which seems to address a longstanding complaint among MacBook owners: the machine’s lack of an embedded cellular connectivity.

Titled “Electronic device with dual clutch barrel cavity antennas” and originally filed for in the second quarter of 2015, the invention describes using additional wireless circuitry for cellular data via cavity antenna structures that are not present on current MacBooks.

An electronic device, which in Apple’s patent abstract is a notebook computer, has wireless antennas formed from cavity antenna structures that may be formed in a clutch barrel region located between the hinges and running along the rotational axis.

“A flexible printed circuit may be formed between the cavity antennas,” writes Apple.

Each antenna may have a first end that is adjacent to one of the hinges and a second end that is adjacent to the flexible printed circuit, with the cavity walls for the antennas formed from metal housing structures, such as metal portions of the lower housing.

Apple Patent cellular MacBook drawing 001

In addition to the existing Wi-Fi circuitry and the proposed cellular connectivity, Apple’s invention goes on to describe using other wireless communications circuitries.

Some of the mentioned examples include near-field communications (NFC) for mobile payments, wireless communications at 60 GHz, light-based wireless communications, satellite navigation system communications and more.

The newly granted patent credits Apple engineers Jerzy Guberman, Qingxiang Li and Mattia Pascolini as its inventors.

A revered analyst has claimed that Apple would redesign the MacBook Pro this year and replace the notebook’s physical function keys with a touch-sensitive OLED bar that could be programmed to display app-specific shortcuts.

Source: USPTO

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  • John Smith

    These patents are getting ridiculus. Patenting to be able to claim credit is one thing, but using it as a medium for a monopolistic reign over features is something that shouldn’t be tolerated in a growing market.

    • Fanboy 

      This doesn’t mean that other companies can’t add this feature to their laptops. Apple is patenting the way THEY are implementing this feature as to avoid others from copying their innovation.

      • John Smith

        How does this count as innovation though? It’s essentially soldering in a chip for a SIM tray and carrying cellular data with you. I’m pretty sure millions have already had this idea. How else were you supposed to achieve a portable device with cellular data? Patenting something as basic as internet connectivity is beyond ridiculous.

      • Fanboy 

        The same way that there are thousands of cellphones with cellular connection but when Apple created the iPhone 4 they did it by embedding the cellular antennas into the structure of the phone. It’s not the feature they patent, it’s the implementation.

      • John Smith

        By doing so, aren’t they only crippling the growth of technological development? No matter how great their idea may be, there will always be someone else who can do it better. By using patents to prevent such advancements, they only harm the perfection of a community’s work.

  • Don’t see the point since our iPhones can easily share the data. Plus, who wants to have yet another bill to think about.

    • lookHOWMADheis

      data charges out of this world !!!!

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        Taking a loan from world bank to pay it off

      • Dunno, I pay $30 for 5GB. Enough for me.

  • Chindavon

    No need for one. Just tether wifi with your phone.

  • James G

    Bring it to market already. Tethering is not a great experience.

  • Al Fresco

    what took them so long?
    i can’t work on an ipad in the park. much rather have my mbp which is by definition a “laptop”.

  • Colin Steiger

    I think this is fantastic. Screw WiFi, I would totally pay $30-$40 a month for my MacBook to have it’s own stand alone T-Mobile cellular connection!