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Old Oct 13, 2013, 10:02 AM   #1
hologram
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Airport Express and 802.11ac

Would anyone like to take a guess as to when Apple will update the Airport Express to use 802.11ac?

I'd like to get an iPad5, but I don't want to have to pay an extra $100 for the Extreme just to get ac speeds.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 01:24 PM   #2
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When did Apple release the current Express ? I would say one year from that date. Just a guess.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 01:34 PM   #3
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I dunno, but I read somewhere else in this forum that it was 4 years between the previous and current models.

Of course, Apple wouldn't be so stupid as to release 802.11ac devices and wait 4 years to update the Express, but they might wait a few months, and if they do that, so will I.

Then again, there's no guarantee that the iPad 5 will have the AC spec, but that's why they call it MacRumors, right?

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Old Oct 13, 2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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It's possible (perhaps even likely) that Apple will use 802.11ac to differentiate the Extreme from the Express, at least for the next couple of years.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 04:38 PM   #5
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It's possible (perhaps even likely) that Apple will use 802.11ac to differentiate the Extreme from the Express, at least for the next couple of years.
Its their choice and they can opt to lose sales to other well designed and implemented products.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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Its their choice and they can opt to lose sales to other well designed and implemented products.
Perhaps.

Then again, the only reason I went with the Extreme is because the Express didn't have 802.11ac. They got the extra $100 out of me. I wonder how many more?

There's no way to prove this, but I imagine that Apple would net more profit keeping 802.11ac exclusive to the AirPort Extreme. Otherwise, the Express is more than enough for most people. Apple knows that. It's the same situation as with the Macs. Why do I have to order the high-end iMac to upgrade the GPU? Because Apple knows what most people would just order the cheaper model with improved GPU if they could.

It's not the most consumer-friendly policy, sure, but it definitely doesn't lose them money. Apple knows what it's doing.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 05:29 PM   #7
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I imagine that Apple would net more profit keeping 802.11ac exclusive to the AirPort Extreme.
Sure, profit on the Extreme, maybe, but the price for that would be a whole bunch of pissed-off iPad purchasers and would-be purchasers. They're going to expect to reap the benefits of the ac spec now, without having to buy a lot more router than they need, or they (and me) will probably wait for the iPad 6.

Buy an iPad that's only going to connect at half-speed or less, or pay a $100 speed tax? Hmmmmm... hard choice! If I'm buying new, I won't be buying obsolete hardware that doesn't conform to the latest standards, and I won't be blackmailed into paying twice the price.

I don't need the 5, I want it, but I can wait. Just like a lot of other people.

Or maybe they'll announce the Express ac compliant on the 22nd.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 05:59 PM   #8
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NMF:

At this point there's not much below the US$150 mark with AC so it could actually gain them market share to have a very competitive device in the Airport Express.

Is it about profits or increasing share?
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 06:03 PM   #9
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Or maybe they'll announce the Express ac compliant on the 22nd.
Maybe!

Though, I think you're vastly overestimating the number of potential iPad customers who have even heard of 802.11ac. Or 802.11n for that matter. Or G.

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NMF:

At this point there's not much below the US$150 mark with AC so it could actually gain them market share to have a very competitive device in the Airport Express.

Is it about profits or increasing share?
Uh, profit? This is Apple we're talking about here.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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Well, this is just MHO, of course, but I would think that building the ac spec into an iPad would instantly make it a mainstream consumer thing, something the average consumer would want to take advantage of without feeling they're being gouged.

It may have been somewhat exotic up until now, confined to a few devices, but build it into the iPad and now you've made it a standard. I don't think the public is ready to pay extra for something that should be standard. I also don't think the average public would know the difference between the specs, as NMF said, but it will surely be used as a sales tool (Wireless twice as fast as the "old" iPad"!!!)

But then, as (s)he also said, this is Apple.

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Old Oct 13, 2013, 10:27 PM   #11
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It may have been somewhat exotic up until now, confined to a few devices, but build it into the iPad and now you've made it a standard. I don't think the public is ready to pay extra for something that should be standard. I also don't think the average public would know the difference between the specs, as NMF said, but it will surely be used as a sales tool (Wireless twice as fast as the "old" iPad"!!!)
Exactly. It'll be "Ultra-Fast Wireless" just like LTE on the iPhone 5. Nobody knows what that is, lol. Mainstream consumers will buy the iPad 5 and not even know that they're not getting 802.11ac speeds. These types of things only matter to nerds on the Internet. "Normal" people won't know or care. Ignorance is bliss!
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 10:33 PM   #12
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If it were for the nerds on the Internets, we'd all be hooked up to the internet via Gigabit Ethernet so 802.11ac would actually be put to use appropriately.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 11:14 PM   #13
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I may be missing something here, but what exactly do you plan on using your iPad for that would be enhanced by 802.11ac wireless? Unless you have gigabit FiOs internet, then 802.11n is plenty sufficient. AC wireless is good for doing network data transfers where people want gigabit ethernet-like speeds using WiFi. For surfing the web/streaming media/playing games...on the iPad won't make much of a difference. Sure, Apple could do it and advertise "twice as fast" on the new iPad but there would be little practical value IMO.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 11:43 PM   #14
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I'm hoping they make an 802.11ac Express, great for an AirPlay & WiFi extender.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 11:57 PM   #15
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I doubt iPad (or iPhone for that matter) will see gigabit wireless speeds anytime soon. That would require at least 3x3:3 radio & antenna design, whereas current iOS devices sport 1x1:1
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Old Oct 16, 2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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I doubt we will see an 802.11ac in an express anytime soon. It's an entry level product. Apple want's to push everyone towards the extreme.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 03:44 AM   #17
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they didn't even put Gigabit Ethernet on it, so not likely they'll put Gigabit Wifi on it either.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 06:16 AM   #18
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I doubt we will see an 802.11ac in an express anytime soon. It's an entry level product. Apple want's to push everyone towards the extreme.
...but what about an ac access point? This is why I want an Express ac to go with my ac Extreme.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 08:15 AM   #19
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...but what about an ac access point? This is why I want an Express ac to go with my ac Extreme.

IMO, if you're looking to get an ac access point you'll have to get another extreme. Even if you had two ac to extend your network, the extended network would not be ac. I tried last year's model with the express and realize it extends the 2.4 Ghz and not the 5 Ghz.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 11:10 PM   #20
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The Extreme also has some complicated antenna arrangements that might not scale down into the Express. I would get the Extreme now if you want 802.11ac speeds because I strongly doubt that it is coming to the Express soon.
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