The imminent release of an updated Airport Extreme was telegraphed early Tuesday by a filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The new base station went up on the Apple Online Store late Tuesday, but other than a new model number, it carries no new specifications, as discovered by Macworld. The device continues to sell for $179.
The new model number is MD031AM/A, compared to the previous generation's model number of MC340AM/A. Apple also quietly updated its Time Capsule base station on Tuesday, with a bump in a capacity from 1TB and 2TB models to 2TB and 3TB models. References to next-generation AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule devices were discovered in an Airport Utility update last week.
The release of both base stations puts to rest rumors that Apple would switch the products to run iOS to allow for features such as media streaming, wireless software updates and integration with iCloud.
Apple last updated its wireless networking and backup appliances in 2009 with minor updates to provide better wireless performance and range. The devices operate simultaneously over both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands.
An unverified report from earlier this week had suggested that Apple would add extended range and better heat dissipation to the products. While it remains possible that Apple did in fact add the new features without advertising them, other rumored additions such as guest networks and cached iOS and Mac OS X updates failed to materialize, although the report did correctly predict the release of a 3TB Time Capsule.