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

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  • Reply 141 of 226
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,784member
    dysamoria said:
    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.

    I was unclear.   I wasn't talking about iCloud since that is a sync service, not a backup service. If you had a file corruption on your home machine, it would probably be copied up to iCloud in a matter of minutes.

    I'm talking about a proper online backup  service like Backblaze and CrashPlan. The company I contracted for uses CrashPlan to back up thousands of laptops from home connections, and it works. 

    You're probably  not aware, but it doesn't download the entire contents if your hard disk every night; just the bits that have changed. 

    I'm not sure where you live, but if so few people have a connection fast enough to support online backups then I'm not sure how so many companies offering the service have managed to stay in business for so long. 

    The online service also solves the local data issue. If you need to get a file back then log on, find the right version then bring it back. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 142 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.
    A credible voice of reason among the morass of slippery slope (Chicken Little's sky is falling) conspiracy theorists (Tim Cook is coming to get your guns<grin>).

    If Apple had fired/laid off the team *and* discontinued selling their current wifi routers without a viable alternative, then we'd have a reason to scratch our heads and think, hmmm, that's odd.

    I love my Airport Extreme (and the one prior and the one prior to that), can't wait to see what might come next. If 802.11ac is superseded by a new, faster (home use) protocol, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Apple could re-assemble the team they reassigned to other projects and update their AE, can't imagine it'd be a HUGE issue for them to solve that one, meaning a brief product development schedule with a small, crack team of engineers. And in the meantime, mesh networking looks very interesting, and the reassigned engineers are integrating their knowledge into Apple's other products, all very reasonable use of resources it sounds to me.
    brucemcargonaut
  • Reply 143 of 226
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,329member
    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.
    The thing you don't seem to grasp is that you cannot remove human beings and society from business. People are the engine of business and society is the reason for business. Politics are an innate feature of entities composed of people. You cannot separate these things without damaging both. Dealing with social issues is an unavoidable complication of doing business. There is no such thing as an economic system isolated from societal issues.

    The laissez faire capitalist ideology, and the notion of leaving ethics and society out of business, are ultimately harmful to business. Bad business damages society. Destroy society and you destroy commerce.

    Cook has chosen to promote the society he wants to live and do business in. That's good business. A company that is willing to coddle retrogrades and archaic bigots just to get some extra profit from such people is not a company that is good for civilization (or itself).
    argonaut
  • Reply 144 of 226
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,784member
    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. 

    Every time you whine about Cook, you like to mention his 'gay social activities', ignoring the other stuff he's equally passionate about such as environmental issues, privacy, and most of all, health. Health is his biggest driver because one of his closest friends died from a condition that he believes would have been better understood with technology-based collaborative research. 

    But, you never mention that; you just bang on about the 'gay social activities'. 

    You say you're not a bigot, but can you probably see why people might believe you are one. 


    williamlondonargonaut
  • Reply 145 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.
    For once I can agree with sog 100%. He's not wrong. Apple is making it clearer and clearer that their focus is on their top cash cows. Things that are guaranteed to make them money. They're becoming a victim of their own products success. 

    Apple once had a universal supportive ecosystem. Their decisions as of late have only divided products and users more and more. Yeah yeah you can argue "SHUT UP APPLE SHOULDNT HAVE TO MAKE EVERYTHING". But what got them this level of success IN THE FIRST PLACE is the fact that they had all of the necessary corners, nooks and crannies of their ecosystem in check. And had an answer that worked better than competitors. That was when the line "it just works" really held water. Not nearly the case now. Apple is resting on its safe laurels more and more and it's beginning to show cracks. 

    I miss the REBELLIOUS apple. Not rebellious in pushing social issues like cook does, but being rebellious in the norms of the industry (no taking away ports and headphone jacks are not it). It's about making and selling products that are good for the consumer DESPITE not being what the shareholder wants. Apple used to be inspiring in that regard, but they're proving more and more now that they're all about what makes them headlines. I remain hopeful that they'll learn how they're damaging themselves, but they're a no denying Apple is losing focus (ironically) on what made them ACTUALLY successful in the first place. 
    logic2.6
  • Reply 146 of 226
    regarding Time Machine backups, I just thought of another possible reason why this product line is getting the axe: APFS

    APFS will move many of the responsibilities from the Time Machine software down into the File System. This should result in much better, faster, and more reliable backups, but will also necessitate a huge rewrite in how Time Machine actually works. 

    Given that Apple's strategy for the past few years has been "move everything to iCloud", it makes little sense that a next-generation Time Capsule would simply be Time Capsule v2. More likely, we'll see some kind of iCloud Time Machine as part of the 2017 OS releases, and leave local versioned backups based on APFS to third parties for shmucks like me who can't eke out more than 8mbps "broadband".
  • Reply 147 of 226
    So, what, are they integrating router functionality into the computers themselves? Because I’ve found no better UI for managing a network and no hardware with fewer errors. Everything else on the market is garbage. Do I have to buy an ac Extreme now so that I have it in case my n breaks? Geez. This isn’t like dropping the printer division, where getting rid of paper was the idea. A fully wireless setup is the future. Why should people have to deal with crap hardware to manage it?
  • Reply 148 of 226
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,695member
    sog35 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. 

    The router business is a very  low margin business. Selling $300 books, massive margins.

    There is no way that book makes any profit at all. It is an educational/art piece. The book is priced similar to other quality art books. Don't get why people are so constipated about the book.
    argonaut
  • Reply 149 of 226
    dysamoria said:
    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.
    Ha ha, why assume that Apple is axing product lines to focus on other projects? We see what rules the post-Steve Jobs Apple: profit margins and end consumer products (and celebrity designer PR). There's zero evidence to support the notion that the displays and Airports are discontinued to put focus on other products but Apple's last three+ years is evidence that they're doing this to cut spending on product development to increase profits.

    Apple is going to ride their bubble till it bursts and then the executives will float off on golden parachutes, suffering zero consequences for wrecking an historically important part of the computer industry for the stupidity of the Wall Street mindset.
    Actually that's complete BS as Apple's R&D spending is massive and continuously increasing.
  • Reply 150 of 226
    It's a shame. My 2nd gen Airport Extreme is the best Wi-Fi router i've ever used. It's been constantly in use since I bought it almost 10 years ago and it's still functioning as good as the first day. Super easy configuration. Extremely reliable.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 151 of 226

    sog35 said:
    His constant push of divisive social issues
    what the hell are you even talking about? He has agreed that he is gay in a couple interviews. He restarted an employee charity matching program within the company. Beyond that I can't think of a single thing you could be referring to.
    edited November 2016 williamlondon
  • Reply 152 of 226
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,784member
    So, what, are they integrating router functionality into the computers themselves? Because I’ve found no better UI for managing a network and no hardware with fewer errors. Everything else on the market is garbage. Do I have to buy an ac Extreme now so that I have it in case my n breaks? Geez. This isn’t like dropping the printer division, where getting rid of paper was the idea. A fully wireless setup is the future. Why should people have to deal with crap hardware to manage it?
    This is the problem. And I've found other routers pretty unreliable. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 153 of 226
    welshdog said:
    sog35 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. 

    The router business is a very  low margin business. Selling $300 books, massive margins.

    There is no way that book makes any profit at all. It is an educational/art piece. The book is priced similar to other quality art books. Don't get why people are so constipated about the book.





    edited November 2016
  • Reply 154 of 226
    It's a bad move. Apple is the pioneer to go everything wireless, I believed in them. I have non-Apple routers at work, and I constantly have issues with connections from my MacBook, iPads and iPhones. It's insane. 
  • Reply 155 of 226
    [...]

    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.
    One more thing struck me, remember the story about Apple applying for one of those (FCC?) certifications that indicated NFC support in an ATV sized device? What if that's their echo competition product and the NFC is what you use to enable the mesh support, perhaps you touch the echo device with your iDevice and it automatically gets added to the mesh network (wherever you are). Is that possible? Would that be useful or practical? Just wondering how that device might play into this move and how future Apple devices might be taking advantage of wireless tech advances like mesh networking.
  • Reply 156 of 226
    The book is a fine book. I bought it, and it's a joy to go through it, didn't find photos of Airports there. 


  • Reply 157 of 226
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,521member
    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.
    One hundred posts to get a rational comment. Actually there were a couple of others, but they did not contain the term "bean counter."

    I can't believe how overwhelmed emotional people have allowed themselves to become. 

    edited November 2016 argonaut
  • Reply 158 of 226
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,521member

    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.
    Actually, social and environmental justice are going to come back very strongly in the near future, as a reaction to the anti-life brew being cooked up right now. So Apple's stance should be very good for business.
    argonaut
  • Reply 159 of 226
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 177member
    jkichline said:
    Perhaps I'm making a leap, but perhaps WiFi as we know it is about to see a more monumental shift.

    Back in the early days, you had wired Ethernet and Apple, while not pioneering WiFi, certainly did mainstream it with it's AirPort line of routers.  The trouble is that nowadays, you tend to get WiFi routers when you buy Cable or FIOS, etc.  So most people are not interested in setting up their own router and dealing with all the networking "stuff" that goes into configuring that.

    But what never made a lot of sense to me is why the AppleTV wouldn't be the central network access of a home.  Nearly anywhere people would need a network connection could be at or near an entertainment point.  AppleTV would act as a hub to control HomeKit devices which utilize mesh networking.

    Now add into this Apple's investments in hardware like the W1 chip that can send Bluetooth signals over hundreds of feet... what if devices were simply aware of their network and connected? What if you just plug in devices and they discover each other and have the best possible, if not multiple pathways to a data network? What if "WiFi" as we know it is dead like the floppy drive?

    In that case, it would make perfect sense to spread the AirPort team around to various projects inside of Apple.  They could take that experience and bake it into every device that Apple makes so things automatically connect with zero configuration.  Plug a hard drive into the wall and it can be time machined.  Add a garage door opener and it's available for use. Have cellular on your phone and it's shared with devices in range over Bluetooth... all in a very "it just works" fashion.
    Nice post... at the core this post show a foundation for a path forward... Apple has the pieces and hopefully their WiFI group is working with others to bring some magic into the home.

    Hopefully some Oxford "courage" vs. Phil "courage"
  • Reply 160 of 226
    [...]

    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.
    One more thing struck me, remember the story about Apple applying for one of those (FCC?) certifications that indicated NFC support in an ATV sized device? What if that's their echo competition product and the NFC is what you use to enable the mesh support, perhaps you touch the echo device with your iDevice and it automatically gets added to the mesh network (wherever you are). Is that possible? Would that be useful or practical? Just wondering how that device might play into this move and how future Apple devices might be taking advantage of wireless tech advances like mesh networking.
    I don't think NFC would add much as the devices have WiFi.

    Here's an example of the eero setup:




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