Apple Reportedly Discontinues AirPort WiFi Routers
According to a new report, Apple has reportedly discontinued its AirPort range of WiFi routers and reassigned all engineers from that team to other areas of the business.
According to those who are familiar with the company’s internal plans, Apple has made this decision as part of a wider company direction of focusing efforts more on the consumer products that generate the bulk of the Cupertino-based company’s quarterly and yearly revenue.
It’s also being said that the decision to abandon wireless routers as a product has been ongoing for some time within the company, with a number of the engineers assigned to those teams being reallocated to the Apple TV product team over the last 12 months.
Apple may not have publicly announced the move away from wireless routers just yet, but when you look at the current product line it actually starts to sink in. The company has generally been through a period of releasing new hardware to cater to new technology and new wireless standards that are continuously popping up in that space.
However, the current Apple wireless router range, which includes AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule, hasn’t been updated since 2013, and now it looks as though it isn’t going to be either. It’s an interesting decision for the business considering the “other products” category – which Apple bundles the routers into for earnings calls – generated $11 billion this year. Now that may only be approximately 5% of the company’s overall revenue, but it’s still a notable amount.
Consumers who purchase products like Apple’s AirPort routers are generally more invested in the company’s ecosystem as they require other Apple devices, such as an iPhone or iPad, to perform certain tasks like AirPlaying music. Ensuring that consumers can no longer purchase those routers may mean that certain consumers are tempted to shy away from the purchase of other Apple products. With that said, it would be interesting to see how many individuals actually use an iPhone or a Mac purely because of their router of choice. It seems more logical that they’d change the router rather than their tech stack, especially considering Apple’s AirPorts have never been the most feature-rich products, although they have been some of the most reliable routers we have ever used.
It’s unclear whether Apple will now partner with a third-party for its AirPort-like routers as well.
For the time being though, Apple hasn’t made any official announcement regarding the discontinuation of its AirPort range yet, and AirPort routers are still on sale at Apple Stores worldwide. Though that may change soon.