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.
I hate to badmouth Mr. Baig and Mr. Jobs but there is no other way to put it. BS!…
Taking up room? Currently, the latest 3G chips are the size of a fingernail and reside in the smallest of cell phones – let alone computers. If Apple needed to add some space, the added millimeters wouldn’t make any discernible difference to the size of the Air. While the argument could be made for the iPhone that the 3G card drains the battery, it is damn near impossible to argue this with a laptop. Also the power and the antenna can be shared with the Wifi – just like in the motherboard design of Sony’s latest TZ WITH 3G.
Restricting carriers? Putting a HSDPA chipset in the Air would allow the consumers to choose between Tmobile or AT&T in the US and tons of carrier choices abroad. Just like Dell, HP, Sony, and others have been doing for years. Even an EVDO chip would allow carrier choice between Sprint and Verizon. Besides, SINCE WHEN IS APPLE ABOUT GIVING ITS CUSTOMERS OPERATOR CHOICE?!
Oh, and in case you are thinking cost… The bulk price on 3G chips is $23. Not much when you consider that the starting price on the Air is almost $1800.