This isn’t what the article may imply. It’s not a rant or a screed. Microsoft is rolling out new models of the Surface 3 notebook-cum-tablet that has a feature I want, I’m willing to pay for, and would set Macs even further apart from the PC riffraff.
Before launching into the apparent disconnect Apple has with putting 4G LTE into Macs, and why the company is not likely to do that, let me point what I consider obvious. Microsoft’s surface claims to be ‘the tablet you can use as a notebook.’ It is not. Surface is a notebook without a keyboard that happens to have some touchscreen capability built in, but it’s hardly a tablet; at least, a tablet as redefined by Apple’s ownership of the market with iPad.
The $499 Surface 3 is a relatively inexpensive notebook without a keyboard. Surface 3 models with 4G LTE are rolling out in Japan, Germany, UK, France, Spain and soon in the U.S. This is a big deal which only helps to make Surface 3 a more attractive device; it runs full Windows and Windows apps, including Office, has a bigger screen than an iPad, more RAM, similar storage, and a similar price tag.
What’s the deal with 4G LTE?
As the latecomer to the mobile revolution Microsoft is forced to bridge the gap between Mac and iPad, and the Surface 3 is a decent attempt; low price, plenty of features. It’s still a Windows notebook, but it’s a compelling argument that many people need to make a purchase decision. 4G LTE makes it a much more mobile device, and the extra $100 price tag is nominal (Apple charges $129 for the iPad with 4G LTE).
And why won’t Apple put the technology into Macs?
Blame it on the iPhone. The nation’s number one selling phone already has 4G LTE built in, of course, and HotSpot technology means OS X Yosemite can connect almost automatically, almost seamlessly– for anyone with an iPhone and the right carrier plan. My iPad Air 2 also has 4G LTE and there are times, depending on location, connectivity, signal strength, etc., that I use the T-Mobile connected iPad as the HotSpot instead of the Verizon connected iPhone.
What’s keeping Apple from dropping 4G LTE into the Mac? We Mac users already pay a premium price, so what’s wrong with Apple including a few extra premium features? This is one of those areas where Apple’s decision-making processes are baffling. Yes, it’s much easier to connect a Mac to an iPhone or iPad HotSpot using OS X Yosemite than every before, but not every Mac user is also an iPhone or iPad user.
Maybe Apple doesn’t believe that’s even possible.