Apple isn't much of one for customer surveys, but this recent missive to select MacBook Air
owners has all sorts of goodies inside it. Most notable is the large amount of questions on 3G data connectivity, a feature that Apple has so far avoided adding to any of its laptops, even though it sells a tablet computer with the functionality. Interestingly, Apple has waited so long on this feature that its primary objection -- the need to pick a specific carrier over another -- has disappeared thanks to Qualcomm's Gobi chipset
. On the other hand, most people get 3G data onto their laptops these days through tethering, whether it be with their phone or a dedicated MiFi-style device, and Apple's survey seems to be designed to pick up on the prevalence of all these tendencies. Other aspects of the survey deal with data storage and syncing (MobileMe
and Dropbox get shout outs), missing functionality that keeps the Air from being a primary computer, and other miscellany. If you want to get overanalytical with the whole thing, Apple might actually be trying to feel out the dividing line between an iPad and a MacBook Air, instead of the dividing line between a MacBook Pro. Perhaps this year's expected Sandy Bridge
or (we wish) Fusion
refresh of the MacBook Air could have something more in store? Check out the source link for the whole thing.