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Early 2011 model, A1278 / 2.3 GHz i5 or 2.7 GHz i7 processor.

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Upgrade to Bluetooth 5.0?

I know there is a 4.0 Bluetooth, but is it possible to upgrade to 5.0?

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Ian and Dan,

Thank you both for your answer. It is most helpful!


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You would need an external dongle that supports bluetooth 5, but yes. All bluetooth 5 devices are backwards compatible though, so they will already work with your bluetooth 4.

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Hello Ian,

Thank you for your answer. I now have a MacBook Pro 13” (early 2011). It has 2.0 Bluetooth at the moment. Can I change the card inside to a 5.0 card or a 4.2? Or is it only possible to change that airport card to 4.0?


Yes, if you get a later card that supports it and fits in your mac. There's guide of the replacement here:MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement. I don't think you can get a card that supports beyond 4.0 from what I've seen.


@ian_ Is correct! You can go to Bluetooth 4.0 MacBook Pro Unibody (Early 2011-Mid 2012) AirPort/Bluetooth Board

There was a point you could have upgraded your internal AirPort board a few years ago to 4.1 for HandOff support. Broadcom did create a board that was a direct drop in. Sadly, it was an engineering run that no one picked up and Broadcom only did a limited run and that was it!

Given the connector interface used in this system is now no longer being used by Broadcom I don't see any 5.0 Bluetooth support ever coming to the older Mac's internally.


Ian and Dan,

Thank you for taking the time to answer. This is most helpful!


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Richard HP will be eternally grateful.
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