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Apple adding 3G to MacBooks?

A job posting on Apple's Web site could mean that the company is pondering the inclusion of cellular modems inside future MacBooks.

Apple could be thinking about adding 3G networking to laptops like the MacBook Air. James Martin/CNET

An Apple job posting suggests the company might be thinking about adding 3G wireless radios to future MacBooks.

Apple's Mac Hardware Group is looking for a quality-assurance engineer with experience in the various networking technologies popular in the personal computing market, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, "and/or 3G Wireless WAN," according to the job posting spotted by Computerworld. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet are the standard network interfaces on the Mac at the moment, while 3G Wireless WAN is a technology confined just to the iPhone inside Apple.

A few years ago, notebooks with embedded chips that could connect to cellular networks were thought to be the next big thing in mobile computing, but the concept didn't exactly pan out in the same way that Wi-Fi is now ubiquitous in notebook computing. But Apple may be considering a MacBook partnership with AT&T, given its close ties to the carrier through the iPhone.

Rumors to that effect have surfaced before, and it might make sense that Apple would want to have some sort of tweak available for its MacBook lineup heading into the second half of the year.