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

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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.
Exiting the router business could make Apple's product ecosystem less sticky. Some features of the AirPort routers, including wireless music playback, require an Apple device like an iPhone or Mac computer. If the company no longer sells wireless routers, some may have a reason to use other phones and PCs.
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
 

Gorms

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2012
548
1,503
UK
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.
 
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LDN

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2014
99
195
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.
 
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ParanoidDroid

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2013
339
552
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.
 
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dwaltwhit

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2013
645
985
Tennessee
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.
 
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McFreggle

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2001
524
495
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. :(
 
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