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

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  • Reply 41 of 226
    jvmb said:
    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.

    Regretfully agreed. Apple used to be focused on creative professionals (desktop publishing, graphic artists, video editors, et al). Now their focus is consumers. They still pay some lip service to the creative pros who helped make them who they are, but their heart is not in it. Now it's iPhones, iTunes, iCloud, etc. I understand the economics of it; consumers are a much larger market. But I wish they could keep a division focused on hard core pros - like VW has Lamborghini or Porsche.

    I'm an Apple loyalist dating back to the Apple //e. I've never owned a Windows computer. But as Apple produces less of the whole user experience, it becomes less compelling to stick with them.


    elijahgdysamoriaargonautcornchip
  • Reply 42 of 226
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,373member
    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.
    williamlondonlostkiwiration alwatto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 43 of 226
    This makes sense from a logistics point of view, and Tim Cook is a logistics kind of guy.

    At this rate, within the next few years, all Apple will be making is iPhones in various shades of gold and black. That is all.
    elijahgdysamoriaaylk
  • Reply 44 of 226
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member
    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.
    williamlondonpatchythepiratedysamoriacanukstormlostkiwiaknabiration alwatto_cobraargonautcornchip
  • Reply 45 of 226
    Perhaps I missed something here however when I go to the Apple online store the Airport devices are still for sale and I can walk in and pick one up today.
    williamlondonlostkiwiration alargonautcornchip
  • Reply 46 of 226
    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. 
    Its all about margins my friend.

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

    Plus the book project was necessary to keep Ive. Apple is stuck feeding Ive's massive ego now, allowing him to do some really ridiculous projects because he's so bored. IMO, Ive needs to be replaced with a chief design head that is motivated and hungry. Ive at this point is fat, satisfied, lazy, and content.
    I could not agree with this more. Any dislikes are from Apple Fan Boys blinded by the brand. I have almost everything Apple but some of this is pretty ridiculous.
    elijahgdysamoriaIronhead
  • Reply 47 of 226
    As for the announcement I think it makes sense. I have all Airport extreme and express for my network. Apple is being out paced by some new innovators in the market. If you are not good at something, focus on what you are good at. Apple has done this here and I applaud it.
  • Reply 48 of 226
    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.
    elijahgdysamoriaLeBart1968cornchip
  • Reply 49 of 226
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    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? 
    elijahgmonstrositydysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 50 of 226
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    giraffe said:
    Perhaps I missed something here however when I go to the Apple online store the Airport devices are still for sale and I can walk in and pick one up today.
    Yes, they're also still sold in stores. Every store around me that is selling them still has them on shelves. They aren't selling, but they're on shelves. Perhaps this is why they're not continuing development of them? Apple knows stuff that we don't. We just sit here and assume we know things based off "Unnamed sources". 
    williamlondoncornchip
  • Reply 51 of 226
    ah bummer... was hoping for an update soon so I can grab a new one..
    dysamoria
  • Reply 52 of 226
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member

    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. 
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 53 of 226
    VSzulcVSzulc Posts: 32unconfirmed, member
    sirozha said:

    Obviously, under the bean-counter-in-chief, anything that doesn't rake in cash gets nixed. 

    Wrong.  Steve Jobs nixed a ton of Apple products himself - including the Newton, Apple Laserwriter printers, and many different Mac models including Mac Servers. 



    Yes you are indeed wrong, but it's allright. We Apple enthusiasts are used to part-time white knights/full time trolls who thinks Apple needs to be protected from criticism, no matter how accurate. We're also used to extremely selective usage of "what Steve Jobs used to do", the few times it aligns with whatever you're defending.

    The Newton was an experiment, an experiment that didn't enjoy great success in the market, and Apple was bleeding money at the time it was cut.

    Just like it did when the Laserwriters were cut.

    There is no comparison between the widely popular and useful ecosystem components like the Airport accessories, and niche products like the Newton and the rebadged Laserprinters Apple used to sell.

    You're comparing apples and oranges here. Just like you do when you bring up Apple servers. (Which not only were a niche product, Apple also introduced a Server Mac Mini, and kept the Server OS.)

    I know you for some weird reason feel the need to defend a multibillion dollar corporation from criticism, but you're not doing a great job so far... 
    elijahgdysamoriawigginaylklogic2.6
  • Reply 54 of 226
    I'm surprised that one of the other obvious decision points for Apple hasn't been discussed.  Back in the early days of Airport, Apple was the first to bring out a wireless router and for a long time was pretty much the only one most people wanted.  That's changed over the years but the big change in recent years is that wifi is built into the broadband routers of most providers (Comcast, AT&T, etc).  So most people no longer have to bring their own Wifi anymore unless they want to for a specific reason.  Yes, there's the geek and gaming markets that will always want state-of-the-art but outside of that, most people don't bother buying a router anymore.

    With sales down, you're serving a fraction of the market you used to and it's not getting any better.  Yes, it's a sad day since Apple virtually pioneered this space but it's not the end of the world.
    williamlondondysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 55 of 226
    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. 
    Very disappointing. It's hard for me to compare performance as we went all Apple routers many years ago but I find it hard to believe there is another router-maker who offers the combination of ease of use (with a great app), features (especially airplay with the 3.5mm analog and optical jack - uh oh), and reliability (some of our routers have been working for 10 YEARS(!)). This is especially disappointing as I thought the right move would have been to add iTunes to the Express and offload music from the phone to the router (this is almost trivial for Apple to do as the Apple TV does this already and the Express already has the jacks and connectivity). For more on this, see: http://q10a1.blogspot.com/2012/01/airport-express.html. You'll note that I was wrong on so many counts here as Match is also not long for this world I fear. I guess I'll buy a bunch of these and stockpile until mesh networks become super reliable.
    elijahgmonstrosityaylkargonautHabi_tweetcornchip
  • Reply 56 of 226
    Since it seems that a sizable chunk of the router team was folded into the Apple TV team, and the direction of the 4th gen Apple TV seems to be as a control hub for HomeKit, perhaps a 5th gen Apple TV would be a merger of Airport and Apple TV. I know, I'm looking for a silver lining.
    williamlondondysamoriapscooter63ration alwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 57 of 226
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,086member
    I used to use the venerable Linksys WRT56G wireless router, especially since I could install third-party software (http://dd-wrt.com/site/index) onto it that let me adjust the transmission power and a variety of other things. I changed to Apple devices because they were very easy to set up and, in my experience, just worked. I haven't seen another wireless router's GUI that was as easy to use including the ability to extend a network without any degradation in speed (yes, I hardwired the second Airport via ethernet instead of using wireless). I investigated the mesh networked systems but these aren't for the "normal" user. I have no desire to go totally wireless in my house and have no desire to pay for a 1T/mo data plan to support my usage. 

    If Apple is no longer going to be supplying Apple wifi routers, I'd like to see them open-source whatever operating system software they created so somebody can convert it to replace all the crappy GUIs found in all those low margin routers on the market. As for using anything from Comcast, no thanks, they cost too much in rental fees.
    dysamoriaIronheadargonautHabi_tweet
  • Reply 58 of 226
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    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? 
    edited November 2016 williamlondon
  • Reply 59 of 226
    zroger73 said:
    Perhaps I am working with old information, but I thought that Apple only supported wireless Time Machine to drives attached to Apple routers?  Is this now supported to 3rd party network-attached drives?  


    For the last several years, I've been using Time Machine to back up my iMac and MacBook Pro over Wi-Fi to both an external Western Digital USB drive connected to my AirPort Extreme and to another Western Digital external drive connected to my network via Ethernet.
    I've been using a USB drive connected to an AirPort Extreme for Time Machine back-ups too, and it has always worked well for me.  TimeMachine has saved my ass a few times...

    Are there any other routers that can support this or would I need to look at backup to a NAS...? I know that if I need to attach a HD to my MacBook, it won't get backed up...
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 60 of 226
    Like many Apple products, the Airport routers were never quite the best spec'Ed devices on the market, but they were the only ones I could count on buying and "just working" -- and for many years longer than anyone else's products,

    oh well. The word on these new mesh routers is excellent, and I have some wicked dead spots. 
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