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

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."

airport_roundup
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.

Top Rated Comments

ParanoidDroid Avatar
73 months ago
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.
Score: 322 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jtrenthacker Avatar
73 months ago
So, in a couple more years, Apple will be nothing more than tablets and phones? Timmy needs to hit the road.
Score: 259 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MNJohn Avatar
73 months ago
Resources probably pulled to shore up watch band development.
Score: 189 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sputnikv Avatar
73 months ago
i thought wireless was the future
Score: 145 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sound214 Avatar
73 months ago
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. ****.
Score: 141 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ehfz Avatar
73 months ago
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.
Score: 99 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...