AirPort built in...possible? Smart?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I was wondering if there might be a time - as cable/DSL become more popular and widespread and public hotspots keep cropping up - when all Macs (all portable Macs, at least) ship with built-in, hard-wired AirPort cards.



Although I guess it wouldn't be a card so much at that point, just a little board or chip?



Short of that, do you see a time when Apple will simply ship all Macs (again, at least all portables) with the AirPort cards built in?



Does this 802.11 technology change much? Is it better to have this in a card so newer, better versions could be swapped out (although there is a different in connector/card from the older AirPort and the newer AirPort Extreme.



Will AirPort Extreme (in its current specs and form) stay as it is for a while, or, like processors and graphics cards, is this a always-progressing technology?



Someday not too far, maybe you just buy and iBook or PowerBook and - straight out of the box - it's set to go for wireless? Still need a base station/access point, of course. But The need for buying and installing a separate $99 card...is that something that will always be the case?



What are the pros and cons of something like this (hard-wired, built-in wireless)?



Just curious, I guess. Anyone here have any special insight or take on this sort of stuff?



(I think this is the proper forum...this or General Discussion?)

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    ensign pulverensign pulver Posts: 1,193member
    Sounds great to me, just integrate it on the motherboard. The problem for Apple though is giving up that high margin $99 charge for the current solution. Right now it's a justifiable cost, consumers think of AirPort as an "extra" and don't mind paying fot it.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    @homenow@homenow Posts: 998member
    the more important question is will the bus system chosen to connect the AirPort card or built in circutry be sufficient to handle the next generation of the standard. Apple lost a lot of potential customers, weather they realize it or not, by not bieng able to swap in AirPort Extream into older systms. Before it was released I was considering it, I have a Cube now, and was looking to buy a new computer. AirPort would be an easy way to hook them together, but with the limit of the slower standard in the Cube, it makes more sense to me to go ahead and run the wires and get speeds beyond both standards than it does to buy hardware that would hobble my home network.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    cubedudecubedude Posts: 1,556member
    I think it would be easier for Apple and the consumer if they just made the bus to the Airport card gargantuan and just included the card in all laptops, as a standard. This way, the card can be updated for a few years, and by that time it will be time for a new computer. With a huge bus the computer would be able to support the next few revisions of the 802.11 technology.



    The huge big bus might be cost prohibited, though.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by @homenow

    the more important question is will the bus system chosen to connect the AirPort card or built in circutry be sufficient to handle the next generation of the standard.



    Yes, the PCI bus will be able to handle all wireless standards for the next 10 years or so.



    I predict that AirPort Extreme will stay the same until 802.11n (AirPort Insane) comes out.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
  • Reply 6 of 14
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    I just hope they fix the Airport Extreme Base Station, What a horrible piece of junk. Worst reception of ANY base on the market, drops more times then an impotent 80 year old and it costs way too much.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Er, then don't buy it. There's plenty of cheap, reliable 802.11g brands out there that work just as well on Mac as PC (they all use web browser interfaces). Many have greater functionality like 100 base T ethernet ports etc.



    Just because it has an Apple logo on it doesn't mean common sense has to fly out the window.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    kecksykecksy Posts: 1,002member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R

    Er, then don't buy it. There's plenty of cheap, reliable 802.11g brands out there that work just as well on Mac as PC (they all use web browser interfaces). Many have greater functionality like 100 base T ethernet ports etc.



    Just because it has an Apple logo on it doesn't mean common sense has to fly out the window.




    But no one wants to have an ugly PC card sticking out the side of there laptop. The nice thing about Apple's solution is it's internal and through antennas built into the computer, has better range.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    nevynnevyn Posts: 360member
    There exist places where wireless is verboten.

    (Think DoD, Boeing, etc.)



    They don't issue directives like "You can't turn your airport card _on_". They issue directives like "None of the machines working on Project Roswell may have wireless capabilities."



    Also, it is my understanding that the protocols are somewhat different country-to-country (requiring physically different cards), but that may have changed by now.



    Shrug.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kecksy

    But no one wants to have an ugly PC card sticking out the side of there laptop. The nice thing about Apple's solution is it's internal and through antennas built into the computer, has better range.



    Er, we're talking about the base station.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    kecksykecksy Posts: 1,002member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by wmf

    Er, we're talking about the base station.



    Oh, in that case, Apple's looks better.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    elricelric Posts: 230member
    My 12" powerbook came with a free airport card and memory and a case. I don't have a base station but I do have an airport card in my iMac so I just do internet sharing with it, works fine for my small apartment. Moral of this post: Don't just run to the apple store, shop around
  • Reply 13 of 14
    isnt one of the reasons that you cannot swap an 802.11b card for an 802.11g card because of the frequency that they both use? b uses 2.4ghz while g uses 5ghz. to swap, you would need to swap the antennae too, right?





    i may be wrong, as i have little knowledge in radio transmissions, but that was always my thought
  • Reply 14 of 14
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,529member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ThunderPoit

    isnt one of the reasons that you cannot swap an 802.11b card for an 802.11g card because of the frequency that they both use? b uses 2.4ghz while g uses 5ghz. to swap, you would need to swap the antennae too, right?





    i may be wrong, as i have little knowledge in radio transmissions, but that was always my thought




    Both 802.11g and 802.11b use the same radio frequencies.



    802.11a which was released after 802.11b uses a higher frequency and is incompatible with both 802.11g and 802.11b.



    I don't think Apple should build these cards in. All Macs should be compatible with Airport Extreme. Leave it up to marketing to decide when to bundle Airport Cards and when to charge for them.
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