Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

A MacBook 5G could happen, but don’t hold your breath

Apple likes to take its time with integrating long-established technologies into its products. Take cellular modems in MacBooks for example. Or, well, the absence of them.

While you’ve been able to buy PC laptops with mobile data connectivity since the days of 3G, Apple still prefers you rely on Wi-Fi or a personal hotspot from a companion iPhone.

Google Pixel Fold £300 off for Black Friday

Google Pixel Fold £300 off for Black Friday

The Pixel Fold is down to £1,449 from £1,749. That brings the price down to somewhere approaching respectability. Well done, Currys, for doing what Google should have.

  • Currys
  • Was £1,749
  • Now £1,449
View Deal

However, that may eventually change. Not now, but around 4-5 years from now when Apple reportedly plans to place its in-development homegrown cellular modems within MacBook products. That’s according to the reliable Apple sage Mark Gurman reporting in his weekly Power On newsletter.

Gurman says once the cellular modem is fully integrated within Apple’s mobile products, starting with the iPhone, the company will start to look at adding the chip to the Mac product line. However, Gurman doesn’t think that’ll happen until around 2028.

Speaking about Apple’s efforts in creating chipsets, Gurman writes:

But the real test will be whether Apple can successfully apply its do-it-yourself approach to new areas. That includes building its own cellular modem, a component that’s now expected to be ready around 2026. The company will then probably need two or three additional years to get that chip inside cellular versions of the Apple Watch and iPad — and the Mac, once the part is integrated into the company’s system-on-a-chip.

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg.

Apple has been working on the in-house modem project for years, ever since buying out that branch of Intel in the summer of 2019.

Reports have suggested Apple has continually pushed back plans to integrate its chip within a new iPhone and replace the Qualcomm tech currently doing the heavy lifting in bringing 5G/LTE connectivity to iPhone users.

Given the Personal Hotspot functionality, which tethers the iPhone’s data connectivity to the Mac, is pretty seamless, is a 5G MacBook even necessary? Let us know @trustedreviews on X.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words