They haven’t been released to the public, but over quite some time we’ve seen some patents and signs that revealed studies by Apple to make a laptop with integrated 3G connectivity. Some pictures that appeared this afternoon seem to show that they didn’t stay in the patents: what you can see here above is the prototype of a MacBook Pro with an antenna to receive data from the mobile network .
The MacBook Pro is a pre-unibody model, so Apple has been considering the idea for years. An antenna is not something the company likes very much, but it’s still cleverly placed on the side of the screen so that it’s camouflaged when folded. The slot for the SIM card seems to be placed at the bottom of the prototype, which by the way was bought in parts through the Craigslist portal and seems to be true for the motherboard (whose characteristics match those of more prototypes that have gone on air).
We’ll never know if Apple is still in the process of releasing a MacBook with 3G until we do, but it doesn’t look like it will for now. The iPhone and its competitors with Android offer very practical solutions for sharing the internet using tethering, and Cupertino may have decided not to do so, seeing that users prefer to sign up for a single data plan before having one for each gadget . After the jump you have two more images with details of the prototype.