The eagle eyed spotters at Patently Apple have uncovered a pretty awesome patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today which shows that the company is still interested in the possibility of bringing integrated 4G connectivity to the MacBook line-up. The patent concerns the integration of a 4G antenna into the panel surrounding the screen in a MacBook in a conductive cavity, allowing for connection of the MacBook to 4G networks without having to use an external USB dongle or 4G wireless hotspot.
The design of the integrated connectivity is apparently focused upon keeping the antenna away from portions of the device which could potentially interfere with 4G radio signals, such as the display. It is also the latest in a long line of patents secured by Apple on a similar subject i.e. the integration of a cellular antenna into the display of a MacBook.
A displayed integrated cellular antenna for the MacBook is certainly not outwith the realms of possibility and Apple has even gone as far as building unreleased MacBooks with integrated 3G antennas. One MacBook (circa 2007 model) with integrated 3G cellular connectivity actually popped up on eBay last year. The antenna design was slightly less well integrated into the display however, as it popped out the edge of the screen.
With 4G LTE capability included with the new iPad and the next generation iPhone also expected to incorporate 4G compatibility, it isn’t a surprise that Apple will be looking to bring LTE to all of their mobile devices.