The MacBook Air, 3G and the Internet

I've been reading a lot about how Apple "screwed up" the MacBook Air because it didn't include a "3G mobile phone modem".

The idea that Apple should have included a 3G chipset is, of course, stupid.

Just about every modern 3G handset out there can operate as a 3G modem for wireless internet. A handset can be connected to the MacBook Air via either USB or Bluetooth, automatically giving any Mac full wireless internet capabilities - over the cell phone network, without WiFi.

So what are the pundits talking about? They're talking about the purpose built modem plans and cards that are sold by the mobile service providers. Of course, these cards exist just because many older laptops didn't have bluetooth. These purpose-built 3G cards are effectively obsolete. These power-hungry, service-dependent cards are still being sold because they work adequately well with old computers. But given modern handsets and bluetooth, the old cards won't be around much longer.

So, why are the pundits still talking about baking a 3G interface into the MacBook Air? Because they either own one of these cards, or they think these cards are "cool". But what they don't realize is that they're obsolete technology.

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