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

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  • Reply 121 of 226
    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. 
    Yes, exactly. This is *exactly* what happened in the 90's.

    Look, cables are a low-margin business too, but you HAVE to sell them. Maybe a router isn't the same level as "have to", but it doesn't seem that far away from it either.

    Apple almost died once because they got hyper focused on money. No lesson learned, apparently.
    dysamoriaelijahg
  • Reply 122 of 226
    If Apple partners with third-party manufacturers to make "approved" routers, then so be it, but that LG 5K display, with its huge forehead, is not a positive sign. You would think that Apple would insist on a certain industrial design standard along with the technical implementation.
    dysamoriaargonaut
  • Reply 123 of 226
    Kinda stinks as these things are "set and forget".  Absent the UFO models' capacitors, I've set an entire campus up with them.  Same cost over the long term as replacing several of other brands minus the shopping.  Hope they see the product as feature-mature and just continue to sell it - only changing chipsets as new 802.11 protocols are made firm.  
    dysamoriaargonaut
  • Reply 124 of 226
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    mac_128 said:
    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.
    Well one Inge for sure, they should have waited until after the holidays before letting this out. I was just thinking about picking up a new time capsule, and now ... Not. I can't invest in unsupported hardware anymore. Now I'm going to have to plan a new wireless backup strategy.

    Then again, Apples focus is on the cloud for backup, so maybe this is to encourage users to adopt iCloud packages this Christmas, rather than plug in a new TC or router. But, that will definitely cut into sales liquidating old hardware at premium prices. So Apple did us a favor?


    iCloud used for data backup for content creators, in a country with a shitty internet infrastructure? Ha ha ha ha ha... If that's their thinking, and you're possibly correct in your guess that it is, Apple are a bunch of myopic 1% goofs.
  • Reply 125 of 226
    applesauce007 said:

    1.  Jesus dude, nobody in their right mind will run a 10Gb/s network in their house because no home device will support it.  It is too fast.
    The next version of WiFi will be 10Gb/s.  Do you understand?  That kind of speed is meant for interconnecting large businesses and entire cities.

    2.  The next Cellular network known as 5G will be a gigabit network and will be very well suited for video delivery to mobile devices.
    Very few homes today have gigabit connections.  

    I'd run a 10Gb/s wireless connection from router to router in my house today if I could. The bottleneck in my house is the 802.11ac wireless connection between my servers and my ground floor distribution system. It's theoretically a 1.3Gb/s pipe but the fastest real-world stream is half that. It doesn't matter if the ports on the switch at the other end are 1Gb/s.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 126 of 226
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    Rayz2016 said:
    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?
    Two types of backups:

    1. Local Data duplication to deal with corrupt storage devices. 

    2. Off site data duplication to deal with site disasters like fire and flood. 

    iCloud doesn't solve either (especially with regard to content creator data) unless you live somewhere that has extremely fast internet infrastructure. Most of us don't. Most of Apple management do, and the combo of isolation, arrogance, and Wall Street attitudes are ensuring a future bubble burst for Apple.
  • Reply 127 of 226
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    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.
    The only reason for the current state of affairs with "IT experts" is to support shitty engineering and shitty user experiences. That whole industry is a clusterfrell off markets designed to make money by ameliorating the failures of other markets. Apple was pushing the industry away from all that, but has ceased to do so since 2013 and things are returning to the state they were in prior to Apple unleashing the first universally usable computing device in 2007 (iPhone). Entropy has to be fought. Apple don't care about anything other than share prices and profit margins any more. 
    elijahg
  • Reply 128 of 226
    ahobbit said:
    Sad about this recent Apple, Inc.

    They have so much money.  Insane profit margins.  They even sink millions into a poorly managed car division.
    And yet they cannot even maintain their Apple eco system?  How so?

    Once users start to buy LG monittors or Google wifi systems, watch how quickly they will buy LG or Google phones!
    Mark my words.  Especiially once these addons get exclusive features not supported by LG or Google when connected to Apple devices.

    I consider ths 'focussing on core businesses' the biggest mistake of Tim Cook.
    If anything Apple should focus on computer equipment not expensive watches or cars...
    I agree. I really like the Apple ecosystem I have which cannot be duplicated anymore. MacBook (Pro or otherwise) paired to a Thunderbolt monitor. If I have to put a shitty looking LG monitor on my desk then the downward spiral away from the Apple ecosystem begins.
  • Reply 129 of 226
    So - anyone have any suggestions for reliable alternatives? I've got two Extremes in my house - a 5th-gen as my primary router, and a 2nd-gen used as an extender. They're not the fastest routers, and they lack configuration (I use a VoIP service and the lack of QoS is frustrating).

    That said, these devices have been absolutely rock solid and rarely require a reboot (other than when tweaking their configuration). Prior to my 2nd-gen AE base station, I went through four non-Apple routers (Belkin, Linksys, Airline, and Netgear). Much more powerful devices and far more flexible with their configuration, but completely unreliable devices that lasted about six months before requiring frequent reboots to regain connection.

    I've been looking at upgrading our network, and am wondering what devices to look at now that will last as long as these devices... I don't care if the replacement devices are upwards of $200, as that's what the Airport Extreme runs. It's well worth paying good money for devices that will last!
    Agreed. No suggestions from me though. I have tried every major player in the the router market and none could take the pace. The Airport Extreme might be slightly slower than some routers, but it's stable. Nothing worse than being comfortable in bed then having to get up to reset the router EVERY NIGHT. I'd forego speed any day for reliability. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 130 of 226
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    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.
    Slowly, many places haven't got 4G yet and 5G hasn't even been considered. Plus everyone backing up terabytes of data over the wireless network will soon cause bandwidth issues. Plus the cost of data transfer. In the foreseeable future, large backups over the internet aren't viable. At the moment a large proportion of the U.K still has DSL which only has a 100KB/sec upload rate. Even uploading 100MB videos from my iPhone takes hours. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 131 of 226
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    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.
    For people with the bandwidth, or small data, sure. Cellular is not a sustainable system. 5G isn't going to solve bandwidth and costs across the board like you're presuming. It's a wild goose chase for profit margins, not the future of interconnectivity.
  • Reply 132 of 226
    In the meantime, as Apple exits the router business, D-Link & MS are partnering on Super Wi-Fi development

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2016/11/apple-is-exiting-the-router-business-as-microsoft-and-d-link-work-on-super-wi-fi-based-on-80211af.html


  • Reply 133 of 226
    Agreed. No suggestions from me though. I have tried every major player in the the router market and none could take the pace. The Airport Extreme might be slightly slower than some routers, but it's stable. Nothing worse than being comfortable in bed then having to get up to reset the router EVERY NIGHT. I'd forego speed any day for reliability. 
    Fortunately you can restart most base stations remotely. Mine is in my basement office, and my bedroom on the second floor. I'd give up and tether my iPad to my phone if I had to run downstairs to physically restart a router :) 

    I see AI has posted a guide now, but it's not particularly useful and seems to contain information gleamed from product sites rather than from actual user experience, and has no mention of long-term reliability...
    dysamoria
  • Reply 134 of 226
    Apple gets you "addicted", and then it goes cold turkey. I'm not liking the looks of this. I hate Windows.

    dysamoria
  • Reply 135 of 226


    Mmm... A bit oversimplified, but:

    Let's assume that the future of home and SMB Wi-Fi is a wireless mesh network.

    Given that, new Macs, iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs, etc. will have more powerful (or dual) WiFi/Cell radios -- so that each device is a full node on the mesh network -- with the ability to navigate/route/send/receive to other nodes on the network.

    In that way, each device added to the mesh network would enhance the network (accessibility, speed, reliability, etc.) rather than detract from it.

    Wireless[edit]

    Wireless mesh networks were originally developed for military applications. Mesh networks are typically wireless.[citation needed] Over the past decade,[when?] the size, cost, and power requirements of radios has declined, enabling multiple radios to be contained within a single mesh node, thus allowing for greater modularity; each can handle multiple frequency bands and support a variety of functions as needed—such as client access, backhaul service, and scanning (required for high-speed handoff in mobile applications)—even customized sets of them.[clarification needed]

    Work in this field has been aided by the use of game theory methods to analyze strategies for the allocation of resources and routing of packets.[6][7][8]

    Early wireless mesh networks all use nodes that have a single half-duplex radio that, at any one instant, can either transmit or receive, but not both at the same time. This requires a shared mesh configuration.

    Some later wireless mesh networks use nodes with more complex radio hardware that can receive packets from an upstream node and transmit packets to a downstream node simultaneously (on a different frequency or a different CDMA channel), which is a prerequisite for a switched mesh configuration.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesh_networking

    So, it is possible that Apple axing the Router Division and assigning engineers to other, more lucrative projects is the natural manifestation of technology advances.

    It could be the use of Intel modems (with lots of Apple design participation) in iPhone 7 devices is the first visible step in that direction.



    williamlondonmattinozargonaut
  • Reply 136 of 226
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    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. 
    Yes, exactly. This is *exactly* what happened in the 90's.

    Look, cables are a low-margin business too, but you HAVE to sell them. Maybe a router isn't the same level as "have to", but it doesn't seem that far away from it either.

    Apple almost died once because they got hyper focused on money. No lesson learned, apparently.
    Wall Street and MBA types don't learn from anyone. It's not about learning. It's about squeezing profit out till the stone breaks or the bubble bursts, and moving on to the next source of profit to squeeze till it dies. Short term thinking is all that exists in this realm. The best thing any company could do for its own betterment (its products, industry, customers), and for the betterment of the economy, is to go private again or refuse to go public in the first place.

    the arrogance culture at Apple is legendary. Arrogant leadership isn't going to be looking back at prior leadership to learn any lessons.
  • Reply 137 of 226
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    blastdoor said:
    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. 

    No it didn't answer my question. You just can't answer it. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 138 of 226
    mac_128 said:
    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.
    Well one Inge for sure, they should have waited until after the holidays before letting this out. I was just thinking about picking up a new time capsule, and now ... Not. I can't invest in unsupported hardware anymore. Now I'm going to have to plan a new wireless backup strategy.

    Then again, Apples focus is on the cloud for backup, so maybe this is to encourage users to adopt iCloud packages this Christmas, rather than plug in a new TC or router. But, that will definitely cut into sales liquidating old hardware at premium prices. So Apple did us a favor?



    They didn't "let it out"?  There's been no announcement from Apple.  Officially, Apple still sells and supports their WiFi ecosystem.  What we're reacting to here is a leak and our interpretation of what it means.  Joe Consumer at the Apple Store on Black Friday will be none the wiser.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 139 of 226
    VSzulc said:
    So does anyone still doubt that Tim Cook is the wrong CEO for Apple? 

    Bad software decisions and ignoring the Mac has been driving away a core group of customers: Professionals, and now he's tearing away at one of the foundations of the Apple ecosystem.

    The Airport routers weren't just about making a profit for Apple (though they surely did, and a handsome one too!).

    They were the Routers that a Genius could point to, if anyone was having trouble with their network or backups. They just worked, like the Mac.

    They locked a customer gladly and willingly into the ecosystem, and ensured that the next computer they got also was a Mac. Or an Apple TV over a Roku. 

    Apples one advantage, was always the integration of hardware and software, and the integration of hardware with other hardware. 

    Unfortunately Tim Cook seems to be too focused on short term profits. I worry about how shortsighted he is.
    Yes, it also isn't just this one item. In the aggregate Apple is leaving many products with no updates or axing them altogether. Products that kept me, at least, in the Apple ecosystem. I previously said the Ive book was the jump the shark moment but I think it was Beats. The car project seems like a Google style turd.
    logic2.6
  • Reply 140 of 226
    sog35 said:
    dysamoria said:
    sog35 said:
    I hate beating a dead horse but this is just another example of Tim Cook's Apple.

    Total lack of vision.
    Total lack of the importance of ecosystem.
    Total lack of understanding why even low margin products like routers are important.

    Seems like all Cook cares about is margins and pushing his social agenda.

    Products like Routers, monitors, ect may not be very profitable but it strengthens the Apple ecosystem. The stronger the ecosystem the more sticky the brand becomes. It blows my mind that Tim Cook does not understand this basic concept. Either that or he does understand it but does not care.


    If you weren't crusading against Tim Cook's contributions to social justice, I would actually have voted up your post here. It seems, however, that your anti-Cook attitudes are partially built upon bigotry, so no up vote from me.

    At this point, Cook's social justice position, and the fact that he's willing to use a powerful corporation to push this stupid species forward in terms of tolerance, is the only thing I like about him. His leadership of Apple may ultimately kill it, but at least he's contributing to civilization in other ways. Some things matter more than money.
    I am not a bigot.

    My bone to pick with Cook is not the type of social issues he pushes but that he pushes social issues. His constant push of divisive social issues is hurting the company and is distracting the company. I would hate it if Cook pushed anti-gay campaigns. Or if he pushed pro-gay. Either way its a losing battle for the company. You are wasting valuable time and also turning off large sections of the population.

    I've said this many times before: If Cook wants to make a difference he should be a CEO of a non-profit organization. Not Apple.  Apple is about making awesome products. PERIOD. Apple is not suppose to be a personal vehicle for Cook to push his personal agenda on social issues. IMO, its a massive misuse of his power to push certain social causes and not others. Do all Apple employees agree with his social stances? Hell no. But he as the CEO is representing them, like it or not.

    There is a time and place for everything. And the Apple CEO should NEVER be known more for his social work than his work on Apple products and services. Apple needs a CEO who will be 100% committed to the task of leading the most powerful and rich company in the world. A CEO who won't be distracting by social issues and his own personal agenda.
    Well said. I do agree with this.

    "I've said this many times before: If Cook wants to make a difference he should be a CEO of a non-profit organization." - or run for Office
    logic2.6
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