Apple Mac users finally get Bluetooth wireless- in April

by Guy Kewney | posted on 24 March 2002

Apple was one of the pioneers of wireless LAN technology with its Airport; but Mac users have languished without Bluetooth connectivity till now.

Guy Kewney

The new hardware will emerge in beta-test form in April, according to Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, who was speaking at Macworld Expo, in Tokyo.

He previewed Bluetooth technology for Mac OS X, enabling short-range wireless connectivity between a Mac and a variety of digital devices, including bluetooth-enabled PDAs and cell phones.

As with the original 802.11b Airport, there seems to be an element of subsidy here; the price is very aggressive for the addon Bluetooth USB adaptor, which plugs into the standard universal serial bus socket. Priced at just $49, it's noticeably lower than many rivals.

A preview version of the Bluetooth software for Mac OS X available as a free software download

"Apple was the first to build in Ethernet, one of the first to build in USB, the first to build in FireWire, and the first to build in 802.11 wireless networking," said Steve Jobs. "Now we're offering a Bluetooth solution that actually works and is easy to use."

He got the headlines, but didn't distract observers from the bad news - the price of the newest iMac is to rise.

However, they'll probably forgive him for a new, 10GB version of the iPod at $499, as a sister product to Apple's original FireWire MP3 player (still $399 for the 5GB model) and the Apple Cinema HD Display, a $3,499 flat-panel monitor with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,200 pixels.