Apple just put up a job posting looking for Quality Assurance engineers to test how well Mac hardware works with 3G wireless WAN cards. The position listed some interesting duties, including;
- Testing and reporting hardware, software, and device driver bugs for Communications technologies including AirPort (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth v2.0, gigabit Ethernet, and/or 3G Wireless WAN in a detailed, timely manner.
- Utilizing available tools such as wireless packet sniffers and network protocol analyzers to help determine root cause and provide debugging information to engineers.
- Must possess in-depth knowledge of one or more Comms technlogies, including Gigabit Ethernet for consumer and enterprise-class workstations, Bluetooth v2.0, 3G Wireless WAN, and Wi-Fi [802.11] a/b/g/n including all associated security modes, authentication types and protocols for Access Points and Clients.
These requirements have lead some to speculate that this is evidence that Apple is working on updating their MacBooks with 3G wireless cards. Computerworld notes that all of the specs Apple specified in the job post are identical to a current MacBook, aside from the addition of 3G wireless.
The fact that Apple is looking for QA already means they are close to done with whatever changes they are making. That means we could be seeing 3G MacBooks (or tablets, or netbooks) hitting the stores before Fall rolls around.