AirPort Express Stock Shortages Hint at Potential 802.11ac Update

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Various Apple Store locations across the United States, as well as major third-party Mac retailers such as Best Buy, are experiencing a diminishing stock of Apple’s AirPort Express in recent days, reports AppleInsider. The shortages may be due to Apple beginning to slow shipments of the Wi-Fi base station ahead of an update, although it may also simply be a temporary blip in the product's availability.

airport_express

While not a clear indication that a new version is imminent, the stock-outs are notable as supply of the Express has been consistent since it was last refreshed over a year ago. The timing is also suspect given the first AirPort Express debuted in 2004, with Apple releasing two subsequent generations at four-year intervals. The last iteration featured a redesign and dual-band 802.11n compatibility.

The AirPort Express was updated last year with a design similar to the Apple TV set-top box as well as new features including simultaneous dual-band 802.11n connectivity for improved performance. Earlier this year, a new Broadcom Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card supporting the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard surfaced and that standard has since been appearing in Apple’s latest Macs and new versions of the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule base stations introduced back in June. It seems likely that any update to the AirPort Express would bring similar support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

The current-generation AirPort Express sells for $99.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
93 months ago
I would love to see the return of the "direct plug into wall" that was the original Express... Possibly something that looks like a wifi antenna with a USB port in the bottom section?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
93 months ago
Yes!

Looking forward to AC + GbE :)

Would love to see the return of the plug in unit as it is so much cleaner on the wall but beggars can't be choosers.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
93 months ago

I've just bought one of these from an Apple Store on the 26th August.. But I've used it..

What's the returns policy on a) using the device and wanting to return it. or b) the product being refreshed and wanting the newer model?

Do Apple have any leniency buying a product just before it's updated?


Generally, products purchased directly from Apple have a 14 day return policy.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
93 months ago
I hope this is true. AC router that has the ability to turn any speakers into AirPlay speakers = Amazing.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
93 months ago

I would love to see the return of the "direct plug into wall" that was the original Express... Possibly something that looks like a wifi antenna with a USB port in the bottom section?


could always use one of these...
http://www.cyberguys.com/product-details/?productid=47158

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My money is on Apple adding a HDMI out port and bringing AirPlay to the new Airport Express.


they already have... its called the "AppleTV"

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I forget, can you plug a HD into the new one for Time Machine backups or is the usb port still dedicated for printers?


no, unfortunately. still printers only. hopefully that will change, but i doubt it. if they did it would cannibalize the time capsule sales.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
93 months ago

Given that 802.11ad is already a published standard, is backwards compatible, leapfrogs to 7Gbps, etc. etc. - well, why bother with the ac effort at this point in time?



ad only works on very short range I think...same room(?)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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