Apple Ceases Development of 'AirPort' Wireless Routers as Engineers Reassigned to Other Products

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has dissolved its division which develops wireless routers and is now sending engineers who worked on the AirPort lineup into other product teams, including one currently working on Apple TV. The news comes from a report by Bloomberg, who said Apple has been slowly shutting down the division over the past year and made the decision "to try to sharpen the company's focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue."


    Currently, Apple sells three wireless routers, including the AirPort Express ($99), AirPort Extreme ($199), and AirPort Time Capsule ($299), but none of the devices have seen a refresh since 2013. A temporary stock shortage earlier in the year gave hope that a refresh of the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule was coming during WWDC, but Apple never mentioned the products during its keynote. The trio of wireless routers still remain available for purchase for the time being.
    The central reason for abandoning the AirPort line appears to focus mainly on its small revenue gains in comparison to the company's more lucrative products, like the iPhone. Apple includes its routers in the "other products" category of its annual financial results, a section which generated $11.1 billion in fiscal 2016, or about 5 percent of the company's total sales.

    Article Link: Apple Ceases Development of 'AirPort' Wireless Routers as Engineers Reassigned to Other Products
  2. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2010
  3. sputnikv macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2009
  4. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Perhaps they will open up AirPlay and Time Capsule wireless backups to third party routers.
  5. xnu macrumors 6502


    Jul 15, 2004
    Oh crap I am going to have to sit next to my Apple Car to get a connection.
  6. AndyK macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2008
    WiFi & Time Machine dongles for 2017 confirmed.
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It is, but router technology is very commoditized.
  8. JaySoul, Nov 21, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016

    JaySoul macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
  9. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Putting Time Capsule in a time capsule...

  10. jtrenthacker macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    So, in a couple more years, Apple will be nothing more than tablets and phones? Timmy needs to hit the road.
  11. cicalinarrot macrumors regular


    Apr 28, 2015
  12. MNJohn macrumors regular

    May 16, 2014
    Resources probably pulled to shore up watch band development.
  13. Sound214 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2011
    Wow, this stinks! I've dealt with plenty of router alternatives, and AirPort is by far more superior. And you don't have to hide them, since they're beautiful. ****.
  14. cicalinarrot macrumors regular


    Apr 28, 2015
    Yes. Except it's not gonna be slow. And it's already happened.
  15. MakeAppleAwesomeAgain macrumors newbie


    Nov 21, 2016
    They are actually supporting Time Machine over SMB 3 since Sierra.
  16. Gorms macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2012
    This wouldn't be so worrying if they have a partner they are working with, like on the 5K LG monitors, to produce something that works as well as the Extreme/Time Capsule (which in my experience, is one seriously stable router). I'm tempted to rush out and buy a new one now having read this, y'know, just in case.
  17. n-evo, Nov 21, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016

    n-evo macrumors 65816


    Aug 9, 2013
    So what the hell are they going to do with AirPlay?
  18. jtrenthacker macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    ...and emojis. MORE EMOJIS!
  19. LDN macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2014
    Apple need to not only focus more on their computers but they also need to make a proper 'Pro' line of computers, desktops and laptops. They need to partner with Nvidia and make a serious Mac Pro with long term upgradability, they need to make a Mac version of the Lenovo P70 or similar workstation laptops.

    I don't think iPhones need that much focus, they've pretty much reached a plateau for now. Nothing game changing is coming soon in mobile.
  20. ParanoidDroid, Nov 21, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016

    ParanoidDroid macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2013
    Venusville, Mars
    What's going on? Is Apple deliberately trying to piss off customers? The convenient MagSafe is gone, SD card slot gone, headphone jack gone, optical SPDIF on 4th Apple TV gone.

    Next things to kill: OTA Time Capsule backups and AirPlay... oh c'mon Apple. My sympathy is shrinking!

    The reason why many loyal customers like(d) Apple was the huge convenience factor and reliability within a smart ecosystem.

    Supplementary products such as AirPort Time Capsule, the 3rd gen Apple TV, and the Apple Thunderbolt Display surely didn't generate a lot of revenue, but completed the unique Apple experience at home and in the office. If you didn't want to fiddle around with 3rd party support and drivers (like in the PC world), you just bought everything from Apple, and you knew that everything would work smoothly – because it was Apple.

    But now things are changing, the convenience factor has been significantly disturbed with the latest #donglelife backlash and ugly LG monitors on top of that. Not to mention the never-the-same Space Gray (gone Jet Black) color-rama-drama.

    I beginn to miss a central theme – a leitmotif – across the latest Apple products. The harmony is falling apart. While e.g. Microsoft is currently hard working on just that: unification. Be careful Apple... Nokia was once big too! Don't let the bean counters kill the company we used to love.
  21. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2013
    The less frequently consumers "need" to upgrade/replace, the less revenue it generates. Phones are replaced yearly, iPads every 3-4 years, laptops 5-6, routers maybe even longer. I'm disappointed that the airport is shaking this mortal coil-its the best router I've ever had-but I guess margin is king.
  22. McFreggle macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2001
    Dendermonde/Leuven, Belgium
    Whaaat??? :eek:

    I understand why they shut down their display business (though I'm not happy with it) because apart from design, they couldn't really make a difference in the display business.

    But the AirPort, and especially the Time Capsule, really made a difference. I've never had a backup system that worked more smoothly and without any maintenance at all than my Time Capsule.

    Sad day. Again. :(
  23. muasachi macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2013
    I guess I'll just have to buy the current one.
    No hope for the next time capsule then.
  24. ehfz macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2013
    Part of what makes Apple appealing to consumers is the "it just works" philosophy, and part of what makes "it just works" work is the broad ecosystem of Apple products that support the cash cows, including the Airport lineup.
  25. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    Maybe they are dismantling the team to focus their energies on a Amazon Echo competitor with similar functionality and capabilities.

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