No More Apple AirPort Routers?

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Apple AirPort
According to the report of Raymond Wong from Mashable, Apple is shutting down its wireless router team, which builds its AirPort wireless routers, and shifted them over to work on other products such as the Apple TV.

The report citing sources from Bloomberg added that Apple currently sells three AirPort models: AirPort Express (US$ 99), AirPort Extreme (US$ 199) and AirPort Time Capsule (US$ 299 with 2TB of storage, US$ 399 with 3TB).

With the division disbanded, it seems unlikely Apple will release another AirPort again. The closure of the wireless router division follows Apple's exit from selling its own external monitors (Apple promoted an LG 5K display on stage during its new MacBook Pro announcement last month instead).

Dependence on Wi-Fi chipmaker advancements is cited as one possible reason why Apple is reportedly getting out of the router business. However, ending development of routers could "make Apple's product ecosystem less sticky."

Apple introduced the AirPort in 1999 as a means to help popularize Wi-Fi and transform the Mac into the center of its media hub strategy.

At present, Wi-Fi is ubiquitous and most people have it set up with their internet installation (either renting equipment or buying their own cheaper alternatives). Moreover, speedy LTE connections are also readily available.

Simply put: Most consumers have no reason to buy an Apple-branded wireless router anymore. It's no surprise wireless routers are lumped into Apple's "other" product category (Apple TV, iPod and Apple Watch, accessories, etc.), which makes up only about 5 percent of the the company's total annual sales.

What's most interesting, however, is folding some of those engineers to work on the Apple TV. Will the market see a beefed-up version with more powerful wireless specs? Or, perhaps, maybe the Siri-powered Amazon Echo "killer" that has been rumored for some time? It's certainly a possibility given how much Apple has been positioning the Apple TV as a home hub.


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