Apple axes Wi-Fi router division, apparently signaling the end of AirPort

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  • Reply 81 of 226
    slurpy said:
    To me, it's actually exciting that Apple is axing products left and right. It means that they're needing the resources to focus on something that is truly worth killing these products for. Also, goes against the notion that Apple's primary focus is simpy making money, and being money hungry. This is a company that can make an extra few billion by slapping their logo on products like routers and displays, but they chose not to because they don't feel the need to remain in every market if they aren't making a highly differentiated product than everyone else.
    While I very much hope that what you're saying is true, I'd still be pretty disappointed if Apple stops selling routers.

    Real question: will airport expresses work ok as wifi extenders? I have an airport extreme, but the signal isn't reaching the outside of my home where I'm trying to install security cameras (also my Ring doorbell). All the other routers on the market are pretty ugly, and I don't want to have to worry about a complicated set up, so I'm planning on picking up a couple airport expresses. Even if they might not be as efficient as the strange looking routers with antennas, I prefer to use them for the aesthetics, ease of use, and because they're Apple, and I hope Apple doesn't stop selling them.
    dysamoriaration alargonaut
  • Reply 82 of 226
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    ireland said:
    blastdoor said:
    Makes sense -- now that apple is going after the coffetable book market, things like wireless routers and displays need to be axed. 
    You're being sarcastic but also a bit shallow in your thinking. This book serves many purposes for Apple. It's nothing to do with money made or lost from it.
    But shouldn't that same logic apply to the routers? Even if they are low margin, isn't there a non-financial factor in making the new Mac user's experience setting up their Apple ecosystem a better, smoother experience using Apple's routers rather that making them log into an arcane web interface of a 3rd party router? And what about Time Machine? Setting up a network share on 3rd party router's USB port (if they even have one and would even support the protocols necessary for TM) could be very frustrating exercise for a lot of users.

    Perhaps Apple has a grander plan in the works which will be unveiled in due time. But if it's just axing the product line because they can't maintain a 40% margin it would seem to be a pretty foolish and short-sighted thing to do. And not to feed the sog35 bandwagon, but it would be the sort of thing a bean counter with no vision or appreciation of the experience would do.
    dysamoriaration allogic2.6
  • Reply 83 of 226
    Airport user since the first gray flying saucer. Have had every model since. None have ever failed. Airport Utility made setup a snap. This is one more indication that the Mac is being deprecated—its total user experience no longer being a priority. Hope Apple at least blesses some third party routers as "Made For Apple" and updates its Utility to interface with them to reduce the pain. I am buying one last Extreme to replace an older model extender downstairs. Hoping that by the time my current system is end of life that some shiny new technology is there to move to. RIP AirPort. 
    edited November 2016 dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 84 of 226
    What could be more foundational to a computing ecosystem these days that wireless routing? And the ease of an Airport setup has long been a key part of the vaunted Apple user experience. And, excuse me, but Apple customers also care about the design of their peripherals. My Time Capsule isn't just an ugly black box with antennas sticking out. Similarly, have you seen the LG displays that are replacing Apple monitors? They look like every other black monitor out there. So, piece by piece, the Apple ecosystem is disappearing and, along with it, the Apple user experience of everything "just working" and looking beautiful. So buh-bye Airport and Apple monitors--two less reasons to buy into Apple.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 85 of 226
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    blastdoor said:
    This utterly sucks, I have recently been through 5 different routers from other vendors , all of which were complete shit. Two weeks ago I gave the AirPort Extreme a go and all my wifi problems are now fixed. 
    Agreed. 

    Perhaps their logic here is that most people use the wireless router that comes from their ISP. That's probably true. 

    However, for anyone who wants to do anything else AND is in the Apple ecosystem, Apple's routers are awesome. They're an important part of the ecosystem. 

    If Apple starts taking the axe to individual trees without regard for the forest, they're going to undermine their ecosystem. It's the ecosystem that allows them to hold on to customers. 

    Displays -- chop, chop.
    Routers -- chop, chop. 
    What's next? 
    Explain to me how they're important? What do they do that other ones can't do? I don't get this an AirPort is part of their ecosystem logic. I use a Linksys WRT AC1200 and Apple's ecosystem works perfectly fine. What am I missing? Are you concerned about Time Machine backups? Is that it? 
    Me like many others just like to buy Apple products. They are just so easy to use and you know you get good customer support on them.

    I've owned other routers and it was a total pain to setup and maintain. My router would have to be restarted at least once a month. With my Airport it has been plug and play. So easy to work with. 
    Exactly. 

    Airport and Time Capsule "just work". Third party alternatives are a pain. The whole idea of being in Apple Land is to avoid that kind of pain. 

    And yes, Time Machine backups are an important issue, especially if Apple insists that they don't need to include any kind of error checking in their file system because of the high quality drives they use. That logic falls apart if Apple doesn't sell a backup product. Or maybe Apple's future idea for backups is to make everyone use iCloud. But that would be pretty absurd. 

    dysamoriaHabi_tweet
  • Reply 86 of 226
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    macxpress said:
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    blastdoor said:
    This utterly sucks, I have recently been through 5 different routers from other vendors , all of which were complete shit. Two weeks ago I gave the AirPort Extreme a go and all my wifi problems are now fixed. 
    Agreed. 

    Perhaps their logic here is that most people use the wireless router that comes from their ISP. That's probably true. 

    However, for anyone who wants to do anything else AND is in the Apple ecosystem, Apple's routers are awesome. They're an important part of the ecosystem. 

    If Apple starts taking the axe to individual trees without regard for the forest, they're going to undermine their ecosystem. It's the ecosystem that allows them to hold on to customers. 

    Displays -- chop, chop.
    Routers -- chop, chop. 
    What's next? 
    Explain to me how they're important? What do they do that other ones can't do? I don't get this an AirPort is part of their ecosystem logic. I use a Linksys WRT AC1200 and Apple's ecosystem works perfectly fine. What am I missing? Are you concerned about Time Machine backups? Is that it? 
    Me like many others just like to buy Apple products. They are just so easy to use and you know you get good customer support on them.

    I've owned other routers and it was a total pain to setup and maintain. My router would have to be restarted at least once a month. With my Airport it has been plug and play. So easy to work with. 
    This doesn't answer my question. My Linksys router was plug n play. The only difference is I can't use Apple's shitty Airport Setup Utility to make changes...which I don't care for anyways. In past years they bastardized it so much you can't do anything with it. 
    It answered your question. You just don't agree with the answer. 

    dysamoria
  • Reply 87 of 226
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,768member
    blastdoor said:
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    blastdoor said:
    This utterly sucks, I have recently been through 5 different routers from other vendors , all of which were complete shit. Two weeks ago I gave the AirPort Extreme a go and all my wifi problems are now fixed. 
    Agreed. 

    Perhaps their logic here is that most people use the wireless router that comes from their ISP. That's probably true. 

    However, for anyone who wants to do anything else AND is in the Apple ecosystem, Apple's routers are awesome. They're an important part of the ecosystem. 

    If Apple starts taking the axe to individual trees without regard for the forest, they're going to undermine their ecosystem. It's the ecosystem that allows them to hold on to customers. 

    Displays -- chop, chop.
    Routers -- chop, chop. 
    What's next? 
    Explain to me how they're important? What do they do that other ones can't do? I don't get this an AirPort is part of their ecosystem logic. I use a Linksys WRT AC1200 and Apple's ecosystem works perfectly fine. What am I missing? Are you concerned about Time Machine backups? Is that it? 
    Me like many others just like to buy Apple products. They are just so easy to use and you know you get good customer support on them.

    I've owned other routers and it was a total pain to setup and maintain. My router would have to be restarted at least once a month. With my Airport it has been plug and play. So easy to work with. 
    Exactly. 

    Airport and Time Capsule "just work". Third party alternatives are a pain. The whole idea of being in Apple Land is to avoid that kind of pain. 

    And yes, Time Machine backups are an important issue, especially if Apple insists that they don't need to include any kind of error checking in their file system because of the high quality drives they use. That logic falls apart if Apple doesn't sell a backup product. Or maybe Apple's future idea for backups is to make everyone use iCloud. But that would be pretty absurd. 

    More absurd than backing up to a device sitting in the same room as your computer?
    williamlondonHabi_tweet
  • Reply 88 of 226
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    sirdir said:
    Well I guess Cook thinks he makes more money with iPhones. But one thing is true: The less products I can get from Apple, the easier it will be to switch altogether. Windows isn't as bad as it used to be, Android isn't as bad as it used to be... And Apple is on a dangerous way. 
    I can relate to this. I am in the midst of moving my photo management from Aperture to Lightroom, and while I have no intention of switching to Windows anytime soon, once that migration is completed a large barrier to switching will be removed. It's unlikely that I would ever switch, but the option become much more viable.

    For as hard as Apple tries to lock you into their walled garden with iCloud services, it's a bit surprising that they seem to so easily dismiss other things that also build loyalty to the platform.
    dysamoriatokyojimuargonaut
  • Reply 89 of 226
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,162member
    Too bad. Apple's routers are the epitome of a KISS user experience. Oh well, time to put my network admin hat back on and getting back to doing some real work at home.
    dysamoriapscooter63SpamSandwichargonautHabi_tweet
  • Reply 90 of 226
    While I think Apple's products definitely simplified the set up, I can understand why they'd axe it - most internet subscriptions already come with a wireless router. There isn't much point in buying one from Apple.

    Actually, I found (to my great surprise) that there may actually be SEVERAL reasons to buy an Apple router.

    The modem/router provided by my ISP works fine and does a competent job of creating a wireless network, but configuring it is a royal pain and I can't figure out how to get it to support things like Back to my Mac. It also doesn't offer a way to just plug in a USB drive for backups. I had my ISP put their box into bridge mode and bought an AirPort Extreme. MUCH better experience overall.

    When the AirPort failed I bought a third-party router that was highly recommended in online reviews. Again, it required a Engineering degree to configure, and despite it undoubtedly supporting the Apple ecosystem, I couldn't figure out HOW. I connected the Time Machine drive to the USB port but none of the Macs in the house could see it. Back to my Mac didn't work. I couldn't get screen sharing to work (something I use every day to control the mini in the living room via my laptop). I returned it and got another AirPort Extreme. Everything just worked right out of the box.

    Then just a few weeks ago I started having trouble with WiFi. Apple support bumped me up to a senior advisor who spent an hour-and-a-half troubleshooting with me. I recently listed that experience among the reasons I was willing to pay $5000 for a new MacBook Pro -- there's value for me in having all my support requirements under one roof. If I was using a third-party router, would I have received that kind of support? Would Apple be willing to work with a client to integrate third party gear? Would the techs even have the information necessary to make informed recommendations when half the equation is equipment made by someone else?

    The reason for Apple to supply things like that is not so much that their hardware is inherently superior, but that they can control the user experience. That's a big part of why I don't slide back over to Windows (I've only been using Apple for about ten years). I choose to pay what it costs to use Apple products because I prefer not to become an IT expert, and by using Apple's ecosystem I haven't had to.
    dysamoriawatto_cobraHabi_tweet
  • Reply 91 of 226
    I've got a wired and wireless network in a large house that works fine. Included (thick walls) are 7 airport express wireless routers. I even use the fibre optic out to run digital music into an audiophile DAC. The system works, and faults are easily fixed. What can replace this? Is Apple really pulling out of the serious computer market, and becoming a consumer products company. I have graphics files up the wazoo on my system, which may be in danger of becoming an antique?
    dysamoriaargonaut
  • Reply 92 of 226
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 282member
    Real question: will airport expresses work ok as wifi extenders? I have an airport extreme, but the signal isn't reaching the outside of my home where I'm trying to install security cameras (also my Ring doorbell). All the other routers on the market are pretty ugly, and I don't want to have to worry about a complicated set up, so I'm planning on picking up a couple airport expresses. Even if they might not be as efficient as the strange looking routers with antennas, I prefer to use them for the aesthetics, ease of use, and because they're Apple, and I hope Apple doesn't stop selling them.
    Sure, works. And easy setup. Possibly not the same speed as when near the Extreme, but good enough for the accessories you mentioned.
    patchythepiratedysamoria
  • Reply 93 of 226
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,007member
    macxpress said:

    jgz1965 said:
    What happened to the Airport products downloading sw updates so that wait times were reduced? In other words Apple can add functionality, like the USB and audio jacks, that makes these products compelling. Seems kind of strange to end these products, displays and (my MASSIVE annoyance) Aperture for no reason. Hey folks, buy are products, oops, nevermind, go bbuy someone else's stuff which we told wasn't any good.
    Apple has other solutions for that such as PowerNap. Just because these are things you want, doesn't mean everyone wants them. They have solutions for audio...called AppleTV. There is already a USB port on it with dual functionality.

    In today's world I wouldn't doubt that other manufacturers can make better 3rd party products than Apple. I'd rather Apple focus on bringing better Apple core products to the market, not some $100 router. 
    An AppleTV for solely audio would be impossible as you're obviously forgetting the ATV4 has no audio out port. USB is diagnostic only. Plus it can't be a wireless router, though that is purely a software restriction. Maybe they're going to turn the ATV into a wifi access point+ATV combo, though I highly doubt it. Much more likely it's just Cook's bean counting isn't adding up to quite the margins he likes on the routers.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 94 of 226
    evilution said:
    When 802.11ax and 5G become actual things, Apple will move people onto this project. There is no point having experts sitting around not working on a product so they may as well be improving future products. These people haven't been fired.
    This makes more sense. 11ax isn't even close to being ratified, there really isn't anything more you can do to improve on the devices, so why have the team working on that. I think this is a whole lot of hoopla over nothing people. No one got fired, they are just working on something different right now, probably all dealing with networking technologies while we wait for 11ax to come close to ratification.

    Also, bear in mind, there is a whole lot of people who like using that ecosystem for their networking because it "just works". From Macs, to Phones, to Pads, and TVs; their system just works. Also, people do use AirPlay a whole lot, unless that has become open sourced, they will not get out of the networking business for that reason alone.
    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 95 of 226
    jvmbjvmb Posts: 59member
    Rayz2016 said:.

    More absurd than backing up to a device sitting in the same room as your computer?
    My time capsule is not in the same room as my computer and often not even in the same building as my laptop. I mainly use my laptop when I am away from home, but when I open my laptop at home it automatically starts backing up. 

    I would like like to back up to the cloud, but I don't have the bandwidth or the money for enough cloud storage. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 96 of 226
    The Airport line of products is still for sale on Apple's website. I don't think they will be discontinued any time soon but don't expect any major upgrades. 

    I think Apple has seen the writing on the wall and realized that consumers routers have reached their evolutionary peak. They will not evolve as they have reached a "more than good enough" stage.   They will continue to exist but be slowly be rendered obsolete by 5G. 

    Also I believe that for the vast majority of consumers a cloud based backup like Backblaze makes more sense than Time Capsule.  It would be nice to eventually see iCloud offer a full disk backup option.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 97 of 226
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    jvmb said:

    red oak said:
    This, if true, is a bad move.  3rd party solutions are (still) a mess.  Their software absolutely sucks.  There is no integration with Apple products.  

    This, plus the decision not to make their own monitors, makes Apple very unreliable has I look at my personal tech roadmap.  I increasingly can't count on them 

    I don't get it as why wouldn't Apple want people to buy this stuff from them. Why cede accessories to other companies? The less of this stuff Apple produces the easier it is for people to leave the Apple ecosystem.
    I don't get it either. I mainly use mac not because of the OS, but because of the ecosystem. That ecosystem used to justify the higher margins. I have read through instructions to set up time machine on a NAS and I rather pay $100 more for a router than having to deal with setting that up and troubleshooting that.

    I think the problem is that the Mac is no longer the center of the ecosystem. The iPhone is now the center and the Mac is an accessory used to sell more iPhones. The routers are not as important as iPhones don't use time machine. Apple prefers that you back up to iCloud.

    Even Microsoft seems to be moving away from the PC OS being their main product. After a failed attempt to move to mobile, they are now focusing their attention on cloud applications and enterprise cloud computing. Ironically, Google is now now getting in the router and PC business.
    So another move to "encourage" users to subscribe to expensive iCloud storage? In a couple of years we are all going to be paying Apple $50/month for the privilege of living in the walled garden.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 98 of 226
    I should have mentioned they are the same as iPods. End of the evolutionary road, slowly being obsoleted. 
  • Reply 99 of 226
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    While I think Apple's products definitely simplified the set up, I can understand why they'd axe it - most internet subscriptions already come with a wireless router. There isn't much point in buying one from Apple.
    Which are utterly crap.
    dysamoriawatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 100 of 226
    I'm one dumb move like this away from selling all of my stock, and I own quite a bit.  So what about Time Capsule and Time Machine?  What about AirPlay and Airport Express?  The list goes on and on.  Back before I had an Airport Router I had to replace my Belkin router 5 times under its lifetime warranty.  This is just plain dumb IMO. 
    dysamoriaVSzulc
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