MBW 788: Notchgate

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

Warbling issues not withstanding, it was great having Christina Warren on the show this week! Her perspective was very insightful and a nice change of pace! She would make a great regular guest on the show.


There was no mention of cellular data access for this MPB redesign. Are there any rumors about G5 modems in updated hardware? IIRC, Qualcomm has prohibitive royalties based on a percentage of the price of the unit being sold. Is it likely that an updated MPB will be the first Apple product with an Apple cellular modem, or will they do iPhones first?

WRT chargers, there’s an interesting Kickstarter that just started: a 6-port charger (3x USB-A; 3x USB-C) that offers an aggregate 240W for all devices being charged (100W maximum per port). Each port has a display showing real-time charging wattage; that’s nice to ensure against pilot error when plugging in multiple cables.

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I’ve listened to this one several times by now, and during Andy’s pick, @Leo 's quip, “… and it has wheels, so it’s portable!” gets me with a giggle every time. No one else laughed, so I don’t know if they even noticed. :laughing:


I can’t see Apple bothering to put cellular radios in their Macs anymore. Wifi is pretty ubiquitous these days, and for the few people who need internet everywhere it’s pretty frictionless to tether from an iPhone. Putting in cellular radios would only benefit a tiny fraction of users, while increasing the costs for everyone else.

It depends on where you are. Around here there is hardly any Wi-Fi and often, when visiting customers, they don’t have a guest network, let alone Wi-Fi, you often can’t plug into their corporate network, so you are stuck with cellular. That said, cellular coverage is usually about as good in those locations as the Wi-Fi coverage…

At work, there is no guest wi-fi and I get around 0.01mbps cellular, currently, although that is “EDGE” and T-Mobile have announced that they will be removing everything below LTE by the end of the year, so probably no data at all.

Most hotels I’ve stayed at in recent years had insecure Wi-Fi and it cost 5€ a day. I always tethered my laptop to my phone. If you are travelling a lot, having wireless directly in the laptop, instead of having to turn on the hotspot on the phone and then connect to that every time you need to go online is a lot more comfortable. Also the connection isn’t broken by incoming calls.

5 euros a day!? Hotels here in the States used to charge for wifi but nowadays it’s freely available. Some places let you pay more for a better connection, but everywhere I’ve stayed at recently has included wifi, or an ethernet jack you can plug in to. Coffee shops and any other space that lets you hang out generally has wifi available. Granted I live outside a major city, so things might be a little different here.

I don’t see Apple adding it either. Their answer will be “tether to your iPhone”. I think it is enough of a niche that for Apple the additional engineering, design, and material costs don’t make sense. That said, there are some good reasons why numerous companies do offer versions of their laptops with a cellular modem. First, it is more secure than connecting to a random Wi-Fi network. Second, using your phone battery drains quickly when used as a hotspot. Third, the laptop’s modem is often faster than what you’ll get from tethering. Most of our employees just get cell phones and regular laptops, but there are a bunch of field people who specifically need a laptop and they need to be on the network-- those folks get LTE-equipped models.

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Remember when Amazon was building an “everywhere” network for IoT (based roughly on LoraWAN)…? Apple wants something similar for their “Find My” activities, so maybe they’ll build out a network that you can use as part of your AppleEverything subscription. Right after they start making and selling clothes (because clothes are also part of everything.) Okay, I might be teasing on that last bit, but maybe they will do something like the first part… I mean if Elon Musk can do it, why can’t Apple too?

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The markup/margin on fashion makes even Tim Cook blush :wink:
Kidding aside, I remain puzzled why Apple didn’t get back into the router game. They were ahead of the market with their AirPort Extreme line and then went dark just as the smart home hub market was starting to take shape. That seems like a much better leverage point for Apple’s strengths than say a smart speaker.

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Love this teardown of the modern Fisher-Price record player. My jaw dropped at the ‘twist’…