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Apple Silicon and the Case for 5G-Enabled MacBooks

Curtis Joe

| 20 days ago


The public launch of the new Apple M1 in November signified the start of big changes for Cupertino.

Considering recent talk regarding the company's vertical computing strategy, Apple's next step could very well include 5G MacBooks.

The Case for Cellular MacBooks

Starting with Apple M1, Apple is moving all of the internal design work for its MacBooks in-house.

Building their own processors from the ground up is a markedly dissimilar approach to others in the industry.

However, considering Apple's resources, it's something that only they have been able to do with consistent yearly success. Compare the A14 Bionic to Samsung's Exynos 990, and you will catch on quickly.

Given that remote work is going to be a permanent fixture in enterprise in one way, shape or form, 5G notebooks could become an enterprise mainstay.
Linn Huang
Devices & Displays Research Vice President, IDC

Considering M1-empowered MacBooks can run iOS applications directly from macOS 11, and the ARM-based M1 is structured similarly to their existing mobile A-series processors, the case for 5G-enabled MacBooks is stronger than ever before.


Just over a year ago, a report from DigiTimes predicted that, alongside the 5G-enabled iPhone 12, MacBooks would launch with 5G in the latter half of 2020. Though that hasn’t come to fruition, 5G MacBooks have seemingly been in Apple’s plans for quite some time.

With one of macOS 11 Big Sur’s headlining features being the ability for M1 Macs to run iOS apps natively, there is no greater opportunity to capitalize on that initiative.

The shift [to M1] could pave the way to making it easier for all of Apple’s devices to enable 5G connectivity, potentially providing tight integration with its own 5G modems in the future after having bought the majority of Intel’s smartphone modems business, which was completed in December 2019.
David McQueen to TechHQ
Research Director, ABI Research

Apple isn’t the only one who recognizes the potential of native mobile app support, however. Announced recently, ‘Project Latte’ could be bringing native Android app support to Windows 10 as early as next year.

Additionally, Microsoft filed a patent in May 2019 regarding their own “cellular notebook” configuration, and it was published in November by the United States Patent & Trademark Office.


With Apple’s original patent for the “Cellular MacBook” dating back to 2010, the idea will likely be realized in light of their most recent developments.

Products Covered

allapplenews-product-MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro
Release Date
November 2020


• 256GB / 512GB
• 13.3" LED-Backlit Retina Display with IPS Technology
• Apple M1 chip
• 8GB / 16GB unified Memory
• Up to 17 Hours Wireless Web


The brand-new 13-inch MacBook Pro uses Apple's best-ever chip on its most advanced MacBook model. Designed for speed, power, and excellence, the 13-inch MacBook Pro improves all the features that make the MacBook Pro one of the most popular and capable laptops out there. The M1 chip, macOS Big Sur, and a host of upgrades make this MacBook truly a Pro.

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