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

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

  1. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #1226
    I keep seeing this type of post on MacRumors. I think people need to go back and look at how the Surface devices are actually selling versus the hype around them.

    As a side note, I have seen many hands-on reviews of the Studio and the problem is that you have a beautiful display with an outdated computer that can barely drive the pixels at a very high cost. When that computer gets too outdated to use, the display becomes useless. I know some will say it is like the iMac in that respect, but the iMac 27 inch starts at $1800 rather than $3000.

    While I applaud the "coolness" factor of the Studio, it is a niche and I believe the units sold during the quarter will reflect that.
     
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #1227
    Back when ... I used to say that Apple held the OS hostage while Microsoft held the hardware/PC hostage. For those that don't gather the meaning I'll say that in order to get to the OS of Apple you had to by an Apple computer as there was no other choice. The reverse held true for Microsoft where people were stuck with Windows on a PC (unless you went for Unix/Linux and possibly OS/2 back when).

    These days the lines are getting blurred as Microsoft ventures out more than ever into the PC hardware business. There will be hiccups along the way and I agree that the Studio offering has some weaknesses though over all it is no worse than an iMac in that sense and often packs a better set up than the Apple counterpart.
     
  3. Uofmtiger, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017

    Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #1228
    Windows is still everywhere. MacOS is still mainly on Macs unless you want the headache of Hackintosh. The Surface line up is refreshing, but it isn't exactly setting the world on fire. If the iPad had the sales revenue of the Surface line-up, some rational people would be saying the iPad is over and Apple needs to move on. Let's just look at the last reported numbers to compare:

    iPad - revenue $5.533bn
    Mac - revenue $7.244bn
    Surface - revenue $1.32 bn

    I should also mention that while many here think that the Surface line is growing at a fast rate and is some sort of Apple killer, it is actually down year over year.

    Once again the Studio starting price is ridiculous, which gives the iMac a major advantage starting at over a $1000 less in its base price. I am impressed with the design of the hinge and the screen of the Studio, but at $3000+, I would expect it to be connected to a better computer or at least let you hook up a better computer to it and use it as a monitor. Nope. I would rather put Windows on an iMac, to be honest. If Microsoft makes it a monitor that I could use with my other computers, it would be much more interesting to me...though I still wouldn't pay $3000+ for it.
     
  4. Uncle Junior, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

    Uncle Junior macrumors newbie

    Uncle Junior

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Location:
    Rowley Massachusetts
    #1229
    Best router... really? They have no web interface, you can't telnet into them, and you can only use Apple's software to configure them. You cannot flash them with DD-WRT or any other 3rd party firmware to expand the woefully limited features. I have only set up/configured Time Capsules for friends and family, but never myself for just those reasons. They are pretty, though, I'll give you that! I have used a variety of wireless routers and NAS over the years, and until recently always flashed any routers I was setting up with various 3rd party firmware... DD-WRT, Tomato mostly. I use Asus routers with stock firmware almost exclusively now because they have added so many features that I could only get with 3rd party firmware before. I have an old a1254 1st gen TC (500 GB) that died because of a PS failure (common issue!). I replaced it with a later gen TC and kept the old one around. Finally, when aftermarket PSs became available, I took it apart and replaced the PS and it runs great now in bridge mode. The only thing I had to do was assign it a static IP because it kept losing configuration with DHCP.
     
  5. Uncle Junior, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

    Uncle Junior macrumors newbie

    Uncle Junior

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Location:
    Rowley Massachusetts
    #1230
    Oh... I think that was Linksys, especially the BEFW11S4, and then the ubiquitous and truly wonderful WRT-54G! Linksys was a startup later acquired by Cisco, then more recently sold to Belkin. To speed development of the WRT-54G Cisco used off the shelf LINUX code and they were sued to release their source code as they are required to do under GNU GPL and LGPL licensing terms. They lost the case and were forced to reveal their source code... that led to the development of a whole ecosystem of 3rd party router firmware. Since that time most router manufacturers have figured out that open source code and 3rd party firmware were no threats to them, so they embraced it. But not of course anal-retentive, secretive, proprietary Apple! LOL From about 2000 my first home router was the wired Linksys (before Cisco acquisition) BEFSR41, the router that changed everything... and I still have two! They are bulletproof! I bricked one, but was able to coax functional firmware back into it using PuTTY. Home routers saved IPV4 from an early death. We would have run out of address space at least a decade ago if not for Linksys and their home router breakthrough!
    --- Post Merged, Feb 21, 2017 ---
    Case in point... Windows Home Server! I have a HP Mediasmart server I haven't figured out how to re-purpose, but I will.
     
  6. mryingster macrumors regular

    mryingster

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #1231
    This is exactly why I like Apple's routers. I have never seen a web interface for configuring a router that was responsive or intuitive. I have generally been happy with Apple's airport utility, and even have a fine time doing configuration using the utility on my iPhone. It's not clunky or ugly like a typical router interface. It's pretty, responsive, and works.
     
  7. macprobuffalo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    #1232
    I like that the Apple Routers run on NetBSD. Of all the routers i've owned these have been the most stable. I have two 5th generations running as access points and a third 5th generation for NAT duty connected to a 24 point switch. Everything is rock solid stable
     
  8. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502

    dwaltwhit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #1233
    You obviously know and understand router technology at a much higher level than the vast majority of people who use routers. Your taste seems to be much more refined than anyone else.
     
  9. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #1234
    The real beauty of those Apple routers was the simple setup. My dad bought a Linksys router and had all kinds of issues that were not resolved by calling their customer service. I told him to take it back and get an Apple router. He did and got it home and was up and running in a few minutes. That really is where these routers excelled. I think the market has expanded and more routers are easy to setup these days, but you can't get much easier than the Apple Extreme setup.
     
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #1235
    Agreed that its pretty easy but I think of the "ease" because you must have a software installed on your computer to manage and you also give up a few features that are pretty much standard on Routers and more so routers costing as much as the Airport Extreme. On a personal note, I find it sad that Apple walked away from Routers given that the time now is prime to expand the "services" that a network appliance can do (routers PLUS other uses). The installed software could have been expanded too and really be far more useful and still easy for the non-tech type.
     
  11. ArmCortexA8 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Location:
    Terra Australis
    #1236
    Apple seemed to have the best routers and NAS's in the industry but I think they really stuffed themselves by removing Windows support as back then I had windows laptops via an Apple router which I found better than non-apple hardware despite the learning curve with configuration. It does seem Apple's priorities have shifted drastically to such a point they are dumping other areas and killing them off. I would not be surprised if AirDrop is dumped as well over time. I see no linear future with Apple.
     
  12. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #1237
    I'll work backwards here. I somewhat agree with your last four sentences. However, Apple never had the "best" routers nor a NAS (even Time Capsule was more about software than the hardware to run it). What they had was expensive and "easy" because they forced the user to install software and over time, they dumbed-down the software and skipped many features that similarly priced routers had and then some. I will not say they were bad routers at all but expensive and short on features. Often in serious test comparisons they would rank as the most expensive and be rated as 5th through 9th (depending on year) as far as test results. When it came to features, they were pretty much behind all similarly priced competitors. So please, don't use a superlative or near-superlative when describing Apple's routers.
     
  13. ArmCortexA8 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Location:
    Terra Australis
    #1238
    I agree they were not feature-rich - one of the drawbacks of simplicity but in my tests they seemed to be faster and more reliable than most other brands I used. I too prefer more options so in future will choose other brands. They also used their own "protocols" like NAT-PMP etc.
     
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #1239
    ArmCortexA8, I have worked with Airport Extremes (still do to a point) for many people and also had them myself for a bit of time. At no time have they outperformed similar routers and some issues remained when trying to expand the network (though easy to remedy. Many remember the double NAT challenges etc.). I'll just say I am happy you found great use of them and they met your needs.
     
  15. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #1240
    Like all Surface devices, they are not supposed to sell in high quantity. Microsoft are simply showing what is possible in an attempt to inspire the rest of the market to copy & innovate.
     
  16. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #1241
    The market is much more likely to copy a major success than a minor success or failure. It is why we had so many companies copying the iPhone and iPad...and why we didn't see a lot of companies copying the Yugo.
     
  17. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #1242
    There's dozens and dozens of Surface Pro clones on the market now, to suit all budgets and markets (education/professional/home user etc). That was the point.
     
  18. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #1243
    I have not seen one Surface Studio clone, but I would be interested in seeing one that doesn't cost over 3 grand and actually has a decent computer strapped to it.
     
  19. jlaylor macrumors newbie

    jlaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    #1244
    Yes, the ecosystem is great and is a part of the overall apple experience. My issue is that I actually NEED the capabilities of the express section of the entire set of routers. They supply the ports i need to connect to non-airplay printers and powered speakers around the house. Is there another router/extender out there that easily allows you to do this?
     
  20. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #1245
    http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/tablets/ideapad/miix/miix-320/?IPromoID=LEN384711
    http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/desktops/ideacentre/aio-900/aio-910-27/?sb=:000001C9:00018CF6:
    http://www.dell.com/uk/p/xps-27-7760-aio/pd?ref=PD_OC (scroll down to see it hinged down in easel mode like the Surface Studio)
    https://www.asus.com/transformerbook/global/index.html
    http://store.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=W8A14EA&opt=ABU&sel=NTB

    So, that's Dell, HP, Lenovo and Asus on the Surface Pro/Surface Book bandwagon and Dell at least looking at swivelling 2-in-ones (I'd admit that the Lenovo entry is more of an adjustable display...) but then the Surface Studio concept is much newer than the Surface Pro/Surface Book idea.

    There's another thing about the PC world, though:

    The Surface Books/Surface Studios are "prestige" products, and partly serve as reference designs for Windows.

    If you don't like them, there are 101 other choices of ultrabooks, laptops, mobile workstations, gaming laptops, mini towers, alien-shaped gaming towers... You need a brick-thick laptop with space for 4TB of HD? It's out there. A mini-PC with a quad i7? It exists. None of those fit the bill? Buy the CPU, Motherboard, GPU, RAM and storage you want, pick the case and spend an hour or so with a screwdriver (or have your friendly local computer geek do it for you). Then, if you want Windows give Microsoft some money. Just because you don't want a surface doesn't mean MS has lost you as a customer (although there's always Linux - I like Linux provided I don't have to use it as a desktop).

    With Apple - you have an increasingly limited choice of a few ultrabook/small-form-factor systems or a 4-year-old semi-dedicated FCPx appliance (only apply if you have an OpenCL-dominated workflow). The new MBPs are probably great if your requirements hit the sweet spot, and the 27" iMac is still pretty good value if you want a 5k display, but if none of those float your boat your only choice is to go Windows or Linux. (The Hackintosh community have done sterling work for little reward but you can't recommend running OS X unlicensed - and open to a crackdown at Apple's whim - as a serious solution).

    I much prefer OS X to Windows - as long as Apple is also offering the appropriate hardware.

    Back to the routers - there's actually one fly in the ointment with Apple's routers, and that is Internet connectivity and ISP compatibility: they don't include xDSL modems for phone line and FTTC connections.

    For the sort of less-techy person who would otherwise really benefit from the "just works" aspect of Apple routers, my advice would have to be use the router that your ISP gives, leases or sells you. Especially if you're going to get extra video streaming services from the ISP (some of them use multicast).

    For starters, here in the UK, most ADSL and VDSL (FTTC) services now come with an all-in-one modem/router that connects direct to the phone - so you'll need to get a separate ADSL/VDSL modem and hook the ethernet from that to the Time Capsule (...and before you suggest it, the ISP routers tend not to have 'modem only' mode). Apart from anything else, for a simple home/small office setup you don't really want the extra plug, cable and wall-wart.

    Then, if you have to call the ISP's help lines you really, really want to be using the router the ISP sold you if you want any chance of a fix. If you're tech-savvy enough to deal with that then you're probably savvy enough to want a 3rd-party router with more bells and whistles.
     
  21. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #1246
    I have a two in one. It is a Toshiba 15 inch laptop. Yes, everyone knows that Windows 8 paved the way for touch screens in the Windows market. No one was arguing that since Windows has a huge built in audience.

    How much influence the actual Surface line had is debatable. I have a feeling that when Windows 8 came out, companies would have figured out how to make use of the 2-1 format. They already had the Compaq TC1000 as a guide (if it was needed).
     
  22. jblagden, Mar 12, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017

    jblagden macrumors 65816

    jblagden

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    #1247
    Consequently, a lot of people are moving away from Apple.

    Myself, I think my next computer will be a 15" Alienware laptop running Ubuntu Gnome.

    At this point, pretty much all of my computing is simple stuff like web browsing, email, documents, listening to music & podcasts, watching videos and viewing PDFS & photos. So, Linux will be a good fit for me. And I like to use Terminal for managing files. I also like to play games, but I'd be able to play games just fine in Linux. The main games I play are StarCraft II and Minecraft. Minecraft is a Java game, so that'll work perfectly. I can run StarCraft II in Wine and it'll run fine. Steam has a lot of good games for Linux, so I'll be all set.
     
  23. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA USA
    #1248
    Frankly, Apple's Airport Extreme were starting to get "long in the tooth" anyway. Even the four-year old Asus RT-AC68U (I have one of those) is in many ways a better router if you want good connectivity. And the latest routers like the Netgear R9000 Nighthawk X10 are technologically far ahead of the Airport Extreme technology.
     
  24. jblagden macrumors 65816

    jblagden

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    #1249
    Not to split hairs, but it wasn't just home routers that saved IPv4, but rather their implementation of Network Address Translation (NAT). You probably know that, but there are probably a lot of folks in this thread who don't.

    For those who don't know, Network Address Translation (NAT) makes it look to the outside world like you're using just one IP address. Inside the network, you can (to an extent) use as many IP addresses as you want. This is called private addressing - the outside world doesn't see how many IP addresses you're using; it only sees one address - the external address. NAT was designed to be a stopgap solution for IPv4, to provide enough time for IPv6 to take over. Basically, it (sort of) solves the problem of running out of IP addresses by minimizing how many are used - on the outside.
     
  25. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #1250
    In the short term, what you are saying makes sense.

    I just feel like Apple is abandoning a huge (vocal) part of their user base in the search of profit profit profit.

    A well respected business leader recently suggested that CEOs should focus on: Staff, Customers, Shareholders - in that order.

    Seems to me, Apple is working in reverse. Tim the Spreadsheet Man can't help but just focus on the numbers. And right now, the biggest numbers come from iPhone. But for how much longer?
     

Share This Page