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Apple wins patent for 4G MacBook connectivity

The company's patent relates to the way the antenna is housed in the computer, which in this case, is in a cavity behind the bezel.


A new patent Apple has been awarded seems to hint that the company is considering bringing 4G connectivity to its MacBook line.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today published a patent Apple won related to the way in which a 4G antenna is housed in a laptop. The invention describes how a 4G antenna can be hidden in a "conductive cavity" located behind the upper bezel around the computer's screen.

Apple argues that the placement of the antenna at the top of the computer can enhance the likelihood of securing a strong signal, though the company did leave it open to placing the antenna in other cavities around the device.

Patently Apple was first to report on the patent.

For years now, rumors have suggested that Apple is at least considering bundling mobile connectivity with its notebook line. Last year, a North Carolina man came across an Apple prototype notebook featuring an antenna that allowed users to connect to 3G networks. Soon after trying to sell it on eBay, Apple demanded its prototype back, prompting some to wonder if mobile connectivity would indeed make its way to its MacBook line.

Although the patent might lend some hope to those who believe Apple will launch 4G connectivity in the MacBook, patents are by no means a smoking gun. Major companies like Apple file for a host of patents every year, and in many cases, never end up using the technology they develop. This could very well end up in that bin.

Beyond that, Patently Apple found that the iPhone maker secured a host of other patents today, including one related to event processing of Web pages in iOS. Apple also was awarded six design patents related to an iPad keyboard dock, the iPad Nano's display module, and others.

Apple declined CNET's request for comment on the patent.