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  1. #1
    Cellular Connections?
    I'm curious, or maybe confused, about this...

    Why can iPads make a cellular connection to the Net, but laptops can not?

    Do I have this right? If yes, what's the explanation?

  2. #2
    Cellular Connections?
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Some iPads can make a cellular connection and others cannot. It depends upon which model iPad is involved.

    The Pads which can make cellular connections have the same cellular chips as a cell phone. They are essentially gigantic cell phones.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  3. #3
    Cellular Connections?
    chscag's Avatar
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    The simple answer is because notebook computers by design do not have the same hardware which allows for a cellular connection. There are dongles that you can buy which allow for a cellular connection with a notebook computer. You would also need to buy a cellular plan from a carrier.

  4. #4
    Cellular Connections?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
    Why can iPads make a cellular connection to the Net, but laptops can not?
    Another way of looking at things is...iPads (in many ways) are really just big iPhones. Thus the question could also be rephrased as..."Why can iPhones make a cellular connection to the Net, but laptops can not?"

    Yet another way of looking at things is...iPads are sold as "WiFi only"...and "WiFi + Cellular". A "WiFi only" iPad (from a communications/networking standpoint) is really the same thing as a laptop computer. An iPad that's "WiFi + Cellular"...has the extra "Cellular" hardware to make cellular communications possible.

    Thus as already mentioned earlier in the thread...laptops don't have builtin cellular hardware (just like WiFi-only iPads).

    - Nick

    p.s. And just like an iPhone...if a laptop could make cellular connections (if it had the proper hardware inside)...it would also need a SIM card just like an iPhone.
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  5. #5
    Cellular Connections?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    ..... and a data plan to connect to a network.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  6. #6
    Cellular Connections?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Why can iPads make a cellular connection to the Net, but laptops can not?

    I hope this doesn't confuse you further, but just to make it clear, not all iPad models are equipped with cellular capabilities. Yhey have to have the option of installing a cellilar SIM card built in, ie Cellular capable.

    Plus a cellular SIM card and an associated service agreement/plan as some explained above.

    Not all iPad models have that required optional SIM card slot buitin as this list partly shows, ie the "cellular" capable models:

    Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 2.56.44 PM.png


    PS: My question is, if some cellular capable iPads can get cellular data, why in H*ll can't they be used as a cellphone??? At least normally???

    see: Can I use an iPad (Wi-Fi+Cellular) as a cellphone? - Ask Different



    - Patrick
    ======

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Thus as already mentioned earlier in the thread...laptops don't have builtin cellular hardware (just like WiFi-only iPads).
    Right, I get that laptops don't have built-in cellular hardware (like some iPads).

    My question is... Why?

    It seems reasonable that some iPad users would want to connect beyond wi-fi. Why wouldn't the same thing be true of some laptop users?

    If a tiny cell phone can make a cellular connection, the hardware involved must be pretty small. If it can fit in a small cell phone it can presumably fit inside a laptop, if that was desired.

    This isn't a complaint. I don't actually want a cellular connection myself, at least not bad enough to pay for it. I'm just curious about the market analysis involved here.

  8. #8
    Cellular Connections?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    My question is... Why?
    Because the cellular dongle is sold separately, through service providers (T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T Verizon, etc) wherever you purchase your service from.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  9. #9
    Cellular Connections?
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    This isn't a complaint. I don't actually want a cellular connection myself, at least not bad enough to pay for it. I'm just curious about the market analysis involved here.
    Some time ago, there were a number of dongles on the market which included various data plans. Most were expensive and the dongles did not always work well in a Mac. However, with the advent of tablets (iPads) which have cellular capability, smaller and lighter than a notebook computer, cheaper data plans, etc. The cellular dongle for notebook computers became much less popular to where now they're a rare breed.

  10. #10
    Cellular Connections?
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    Frankly, the more frequent use for a portable is with WiFi. When WiFi isn't available, I just use my iPhone as a hotspot. Would it be more convenient to have a cellular connection directly in the portable? Maybe, but not much more than using my iPhone. I suspect the folks at Apple made the same assessment and got to the same conclusion. My wife uses her portable when we are on long drives, with her iPhone as hotspot. Works brilliantly for her.
    Jake

  11. #11
    Cellular Connections?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Frankly, the more frequent use for a portable is with WiFi. When WiFi isn't available, I just use my iPhone as a hotspot. Would it be more convenient to have a cellular connection directly in the portable? Maybe, but not much more than using my iPhone. I suspect the folks at Apple made the same assessment and got to the same conclusion. My wife uses her portable when we are on long drives, with her iPhone as hotspot. Works brilliantly for her.
    Isn't that an additional fee? I always thought the personal hotspot option was an additional fee from the service provider?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  12. #12
    Cellular Connections?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Isn't that an additional fee? I always thought the personal hotspot option was an additional fee from the service provider?
    It depends on the provider and the plan you choose. For our plan, it's included. In the context of this thread, I would suspect that the cost for cellular in the MBP would be more, not less, than adding it to a phone plan for a hotspot.
    Jake

  13. #13
    Cellular Connections?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    ok, thanks for that info Jake.

    It made me go look at our plan and it is included with ours. I never knew that. That is very good news.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  14. #14
    Cellular Connections?
    Slydude's Avatar
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    It seems like it is becoming increasingly more common to offer the hotspot feature as part of many plans. Certainly the plans that offer higher data amounts include the hotspot.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  15. #15
    Cellular Connections?
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    I suspect the folks at Apple made the same assessment and got to the same conclusion. My wife uses her portable when we are on long drives, with her iPhone as hotspot. Works brilliantly for her.
    No doubt that would be their conclusion, especially when it means that Apple could then sell the user an iPhone, which would be a forced choice purchase for a lot of users, including myself.



    - Patrick
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