Lack of 3G a Deal Breaker... No, Not Talking about iPhone

After talking to others about the MacBook Air yesterday, one common theme seems to be appearing... the lack of mobile broadband (3G) is a deal breaker for many.

As I told many people yesterday... if the MacBook Air had included any sort of 3G internet connection, I would have bought one instantly. No questions asked. I probably would have loaded up on SSD Flash as well, knowing it would be my primary mobile device. But with the lack of 3G, I see no compelling reason to move off from my MacBook, which also has a 3G USB dongle hanging off its side.

Perhaps this is a skewed view of the world at the Macworld Expo, where there's a high concentration of power-users and bloggers, but it's a practical consideration for a product that is supposed to be an "ultra" mobile device.

In the days leading up to the event, it was clear that Apple was coming out with a super thin MacBook... but the lack of reliable 3G/WiMax rumors concerned me. In the days before I had hoped the "Air" name would refer to more than just the lightness of the device.

Some have suggested that Apple will be heading down this path later this year, though that would certainly annoy some of the early adopters of the MacBook Air. There are plans in place by Intel to start launching WiMax chipsets around mid year. The iPhone itself is rumored to be getting 3G towards the middle of the year.

As it is, I'm not alone in my disappointment.