Apple has begun preparing Moscone Center, the site for Macworld Expo next week. One of their banners points to a wireless innovation, and the potential for a new product offering.
Apple has avoided talking about 4G for a long time, but it is no secret in the industry that WiMAX has been on Apple’s table for years now. In fact, it was one of the decisions that prompted Apple to switch to Intel technology from the PowerPC processor. Apple made the Intel transition both for increased power performance, as Apple has touted, and for Intel’s other technologies, including WiMAX.
With Sprint set to launch XOHM, their brand of WiMAX technology, it is logical that a UMPC/miniature MacBook offering would include WiMAX. Being platform agnostic, such a machine would be compatible with both Sprint’s network, as well as Clearwire’s existing Mobile WiMAX network, as well as any other network in the United States launched in the future.
Apple’s exclusivity agreement with AT&T only extends to the iPhone, and Apple has previously partnered with Verizon Wireless in launching EV-DO support for Mac OS X. Such support was later integrated into the Apple WWAN Framework.
The timing also lines up. Sprint XOHM WiMAX will launch in April. With Apple generally shipping new products an average of 90 days after announcement at Macworld, that would put such a machine in-line within a month of Sprint’s XOHM deployment. And, with WiMAX hardware being certified and shipping already, there’s nothing stopping the hardware from selling before the network is available to the public.
PhoneNews.com will have complete coverage of Macworld Expo next week, with full keynote coverage beginning early Tuesday morning.