Amazon's eero buy is the clearest sign yet that Apple should revive the AirPort

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  • Reply 21 of 40
    sunman42 said:
    As I believe I speculated here before, Apple may view WiFi access points and mesh systems as products with limited lifetimes, simply because of the adoption of 5G over the next few years. Why have additional infrastructure in the house if devices in the home connect directly over 5G or to a single 5G access point?

    You make a good point. I've believed for a while that every household and business broadcasting its own WiFi network was a road that eventually needs to come to an end. It's amazing that our devices work as well as they do in this crowded airspace. Moving towards a more centralized network system like cell phones already use makes more sense to me, and Apple may have foreseen this.

  • Reply 22 of 40
    My 8 year old Time Capsule still going strong. Hope it never dies
    racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 40
    sunman42 said:
    As I believe I speculated here before, Apple may view WiFi access points and mesh systems as products with limited lifetimes, simply because of the adoption of 5G over the next few years. Why have additional infrastructure in the house if devices in the home connect directly over 5G or to a single 5G access point?

    You make a good point. I've believed for a while that every household and business broadcasting its own WiFi network was a road that eventually needs to come to an end. It's amazing that our devices work as well as they do in this crowded airspace. Moving towards a more centralized network system like cell phones already use makes more sense to me, and Apple may have foreseen this.

    If you understand how 5G works, you'll see it's the opposite of what you're describing. The network is becoming more distributed, not more centralized. I think you'll find 5G inside your home, in the form of a router, before you'll find your devices directly connecting to 5G networks. If 5G and wi-fi coalesce, Apple might find itself in a position establish mesh routing networks in-home using existing devices, and using only one device as a portal into the wider 5G network.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 40
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,431member
    I agree it's too bad that Apple dropped their router. It was classic Apple - solid, well-designed and easy to use. Having the airport utility in OS X was nice, too. Still, as it was, the latest version was definitely behind in terms of features and function. There are many new routers that look good, function well and are easy to use, so fortunately there are a lot of good options beyond Eero. We replaced our aging airport router with and Amplifi mesh system a couple years ago and have been very happy. Orbi & Velop are good systems as well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 40
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,151member
    Airports were a rare example of poor concept/great execution from Apple.  They failed to adopt xDSL support meaning they were always a second box and they failed to market via ISPs which typically means the customer already had the solution before they learned what Airport was - shame as many buyers were iPhone customers and would have defaulted to Airport.

    They also failed to evolve the products.  When we moved from on-premise storage to the cloud, Apple failed to retask Time Capsule as a cloud service backup (cause we never quite trust it)/accelerator (because videos take forever to upload/download) and many devices require OS updates.

    For me, they should revive Airport/Time Capsule as a little piece of iCloud/iCloud Pro in your home or just value-add to AppleTV.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 40
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,756member
    bsimpsen said:
    If Apple's future is all about the ecosystem, it's terribly dangerous to be dependent on arch rivals for the glue that holds it all together. I think abandoning routers was one of the greatest errors Apple made and I do hope that fear motivates them to reconsider. They're going to have tough time with HomeKit if every home control system ends up running atop Amazon or Google routers, which I expect will come bundled with Alexa and OK Google devices or functionality.
    Apple needs to work in their “Works with Alexa” certification.
  • Reply 27 of 40
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,431member
    auxio said:
    While not ideal, there's always the option of using a Mac Mini as a router if you have an old one kicking around (though obviously you'll be limited to whatever Wi-Fi speed it supports).  Just connect the Ethernet port to your main internet connection, then turn on Internet Sharing to Wi-Fi.

    I've actually done that with my laptop on occasions. You can use that to make a single wifi hotspot, but you can't use it form a bridge or mesh network and it completely lacks the other features that are common among routers and mesh networks currently on the market, so while it works in a pinch, it's a poor substitute for a real base station.
    racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 40
    stompystompy Posts: 336member
    fumi said:
    I think we'll eventually see another router from Apple. Especially as its Services Division will become so much more important in the coming years.
    Er, but hardware sales (a wifi router) are not services revenue. 
    Eero Plus is. https://eero.com/shop/eero-plus

    Other add on boxes with subscriptions to manage internet access: https://meetcircle.com/circle-go

    I don't understand how Apple execs ignored this confluence of hardware / software / services. I guess focused on what AirPort was, not what could transform it.
  • Reply 29 of 40
    I believe Apple killed the Airport line because 5G is going to make third party routers obsolete.

  • Reply 30 of 40
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,997member
    MplsP said:
    auxio said:
    While not ideal, there's always the option of using a Mac Mini as a router if you have an old one kicking around (though obviously you'll be limited to whatever Wi-Fi speed it supports).  Just connect the Ethernet port to your main internet connection, then turn on Internet Sharing to Wi-Fi.

    I've actually done that with my laptop on occasions. You can use that to make a single wifi hotspot, but you can't use it form a bridge or mesh network and it completely lacks the other features that are common among routers and mesh networks currently on the market, so while it works in a pinch, it's a poor substitute for a real base station.
    Oh, I completely agree that it's no substitute for a real base station.  But if you just need a WiFi hotspot for a few devices in an apartment/condo/small house, it works fine.  Another upside is that you can be sure that Apple features which are prone to WiFi router filtering (like AirDrop) will work perfectly.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 40
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,997member

    MplsP said:
    auxio said:
    While not ideal, there's always the option of using a Mac Mini as a router if you have an old one kicking around (though obviously you'll be limited to whatever Wi-Fi speed it supports).  Just connect the Ethernet port to your main internet connection, then turn on Internet Sharing to Wi-Fi.

    I've actually done that with my laptop on occasions. You can use that to make a single wifi hotspot, but you can't use it form a bridge or mesh network and it completely lacks the other features that are common among routers and mesh networks currently on the market, so while it works in a pinch, it's a poor substitute for a real base station.
    As an aside, my personal setup is a WiFi router connected to a 16-port Ethernet switch (the other ports go to different areas of my house), all connected to the GigE port on a Mac Mini.  Then a GigE Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter on the Mini goes to my DSL modem.  Finally, I use Internet sharing from the TB Ethernet to Ethernet.  Works perfectly for bridging the WiFi and wired networks.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 40
    Apple continues to let Amazon and Google take over the home and isn't even putting up a fight.  Apple is a wealthy company and could have owned the home, at least where Apple products were the dominant devices.  Apple really makes me sick.  All the Apple routers I've used were trouble-free and lasted for years.  Set 'em and forget 'em.  Apple is always talking security and privacy but now allows two of the worst data-mining companies take control of the home front.  Thanks a lot, Tim Cook.  I have no interest in owning an AppleWatch, but if Apple came out with a new Time Capsule, I'd be buying it right away.  I know it's not going to happen because Apple is more interested in profits than anything else.  I can only think that's the reason why Apple gave up on Time Capsules.  I really think they're great products and would have been better if Apple kept updating the hardware.  Apple is going to keep losing to Amazon and Google even when it comes to hardware.  Apple seems to be such a stupid company.
  • Reply 33 of 40
    Apple continues to let Amazon and Google take over the home and isn't even putting up a fight.  Apple is a wealthy company and could have owned the home, at least where Apple products were the dominant devices.  Apple really makes me sick.  All the Apple routers I've used were trouble-free and lasted for years.  Set 'em and forget 'em.  Apple is always talking security and privacy but now allows two of the worst data-mining companies take control of the home front.  Thanks a lot, Tim Cook.  I have no interest in owning an AppleWatch, but if Apple came out with a new Time Capsule, I'd be buying it right away.  I know it's not going to happen because Apple is more interested in profits than anything else.  I can only think that's the reason why Apple gave up on Time Capsules.  I really think they're great products and would have been better if Apple kept updating the hardware.  Apple is going to keep losing to Amazon and Google even when it comes to hardware.  Apple seems to be such a stupid company.
    I do worry that Apple isn’t taking the emerging home market as seriously as they should.  Siri is a work in progress and, although improving, HomeKit devices are limited.  I have quite a few devices Siri-controlled at home via HomeKit and it is great (garage door, HVAC upstairs/downstairs, two Homepods, at least 15 switches, etc).  If fact, for me having a robust set of home devices linked to a common assistant (Siri in my case) is far stickier than the iPhone ever has been.  Apple is rightfully concerned and focused about the stickiness of their platform but the anchoring device for me has shifted to the virtual assistant from the iPhone with the latter being a connection point to the virtual assistant.  Privacy issues aside, and I think your average Joe is very unconcerned with this, Alexa and its presence on many devices is very compelling.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 40
    Apple should consider not only re-producing home networking gear, but also other automation products.

    With the biggest IoT brands under the ownership of companies like Google and Amazon, the market could use a full product line that's polished, and not produced by a company where data mining is an integral part of the business.

    Doing so would also help kickstart HomeKit, which lags far behind Alexa and Google Home in terms of adoption.

    Apple's indifference, it not neglect of the home automation/ecosystem market may have already cost it the war.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 40
    stompy said:
    fumi said:
    I think we'll eventually see another router from Apple. Especially as its Services Division will become so much more important in the coming years.
    Er, but hardware sales (a wifi router) are not services revenue. 
    Eero Plus is. https://eero.com/shop/eero-plus

    Other add on boxes with subscriptions to manage internet access: https://meetcircle.com/circle-go

    I don't understand how Apple execs ignored this confluence of hardware / software / services. I guess focused on what AirPort was, not what could transform it.
    I see. Does the mass market actually pay a subscription to their router? I have little interest in paying for that...
  • Reply 36 of 40

    Apple continues to let Amazon and Google take over the home and isn't even putting up a fight.  Apple is a wealthy company and could have owned the home, at least where Apple products were the dominant devices.  Apple really makes me sick.  All the Apple routers I've used were trouble-free and lasted for years.  Set 'em and forget 'em.  Apple is always talking security and privacy but now allows two of the worst data-mining companies take control of the home front.  Thanks a lot, Tim Cook.  I have no interest in owning an AppleWatch, but if Apple came out with a new Time Capsule, I'd be buying it right away.  I know it's not going to happen because Apple is more interested in profits than anything else.  I can only think that's the reason why Apple gave up on Time Capsules.  I really think they're great products and would have been better if Apple kept updating the hardware.  Apple is going to keep losing to Amazon and Google even when it comes to hardware.  Apple seems to be such a stupid company.
    Yes, so stupid they somehow found themselves the only player left from the '70s and '80s where they popularized modern computing. And so stupid that not only are they the last guy standing, they're also the most profitable in both PC and now mobile computing. And somehow despite being so stupid, they wound up being the most successfully public company in the history of our race. Amazingly stupid. 

    Or maybe, they just don't feel there's much business in wifi routers. The things every ISP hands out these days.

    It ain't Apple's job to protect consumers from other unscrupulous companies. Just buy stuff that doesn't spy on you. You have options, stop whining and vote with your wallet already.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 40
    Or buy UniFi and AmpliFi from Ubiquiti (including APs, Security Gateways, Switches, Cameras, and Phones). Let Ubiquiti keep their EdgeMax, AirMax, etc. lines. Buy their prosumer and SMB devision and bring it to perfection to dominate to dominate the home/prosumer/SMB market shares. Revive Ubiquiti IoT devices and make them HomeKit compatible. Compete with Cisco's Meraki but do it the right way without the ridiculous recurring charges.
    edited February 13 watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 40
    Apple would have to do some serious design and fabrication work to become competitive in today's market ... which I don't see them doing.

    I've got three floors in a 6,500 SF house blanketed with a combination of two Synology RT2600ac routers (one on the main floor and the other in the finished walk-out basement) plus two Synology MR2200ac mesh extenders upstairs (one in the MBR and the second in a guest BR in the other end of the house).

    Coverage is absolutely incredible including on an outside covered patio and pool. No dead zones that I've found or had reported. 

    The Synology system might not be the fastest on paper but I'm telling you it takes a back seat to no one in actual usage. It's very Apple-like with an easy setup and a superb software package that'll satisfy everyone from a rank amateur to a networking pro.

    Now the units aren't visually attractive like Apple's but they are faster and have a lot more range. Before the MR2200ac mesh extenders came out, I was making do with the two RT2600ac routers and we still had reasonably acceptable coverage on the second floor. But those 2200 extenders really did the trick including great coverage around the pool. 

    I don't see Apple investing in the R&D to produce something like these outstanding plug & play Synology routers. Plug & play if you have no desire to use the many, many features available via the router software package.  

     If your Apple system goes TU and you're worried about Google snooping, take a look at the Synology offerings. One tidbit, the less expensive Synology RT1900ac router is not compatible with the MR2200ac mesh extender. 

  • Reply 39 of 40
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,292member
    "

    "Amazon's eero buy is the clearest sign yet that Apple should revive the AirPort"


    Agreed x1000

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 40
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,292member
    Apple showed them how to do it. And they took over, and leaped ahead. The space is crowded now. Not much room for Apple to make a difference.
    I suspect a lot of Apple users would be thrilled to buy new Apple networking technology, that's a lot of sales not to mention a fairly affluent user base that is willing to pay for quality and security.
    watto_cobra
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