Apple Granted Patent for 3G MacBook, Netbook in the Future?

Apple has been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a multiband cellular “telephonic MacBook.” The company could be using its wireless experience with the iPhone and iPad to deliver wireless mobile broadband to its notebook and laptop lineup, a feature that a few Mac users have requested over the years as rival portable systems running the Windows operating system have had embedded mobile broadband cards for years now without the need for a USB data modem. While Apple has shunned the idea of a low-cost netbook, the patent does open the doors for Apple’s version of the netbook, which may be a higher-end ultraportable system with built-in 3G or 4G capabilities. Apple has filed many patents over the years, but only few of those patented ideas make it to a consumer product; let’s hope that this one does. You can read details of the patent after the break.

Apple’s Patent Abstract: Antenna window structures and antennas are provided for electronic devices. The electronic devices may be laptop computers or other devices that have conductive housings. Antenna windows can be formed from dielectric members. The dielectric members can have elastomeric properties. An antenna may be mounted inside a conductive housing beneath a dielectric member. The antenna could be formed from a parallel plate waveguide structure. The parallel plate waveguide structure may have a ground plate and a radiator plate and may have dielectric material between the ground and radiator plates. The ground plate can have a primary ground plate portion and a ground strip. The ground strip may reflect radio-frequency signals so that they travel through the dielectric member. The antenna may handle radio-frequency antenna signals in one or more communications bands. The radio-frequency antenna signals pass through the dielectric member.

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