by Dan Moren
Report: Apple’s getting out of the Wi-Fi game
Apple Inc. has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, another move to try to sharpen the company’s focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced.
Say it ain’t so, Mark. Say it ain’t so.
Nuts. While this news isn’t official yet, it follows closely on the heels of the company discontinuing its display line as well. Bye bye, peripherals.1 It’s not too surprising, as Bloomberg points out the line hasn’t been updated since 2013–hey, the same year as the Mac Pro! (Uh oh.)
I for one will be sad to see the AirPort line go. I’ve had an AirPort Extreme (802.11n) in my apartment for more than six years now, and I’ve replaced several of my family members’ routers with AirPort Express units. Why? Because despite the routers not having all the bells and whistles of the competition, they are easy to set up, easy to manage, and–in my experience–reliable as hell. I’ve yet to find another router that I like as much.2
Sooner or later my APE is bound to die, and then I’ll have to make the hard decision what to replace it with. I’d been hopeful that Apple would continue the AirPort line and perhaps even get into mesh networking, as Google’s doing, but it seems like Cupertino is going the other direction entirely.
That said, while I understand the need to focus and slim down, it also seems like Apple may have slimmed just a weeeee bit too much at present. It’s not as if the iPad or most of the Mac line has seen an update recently either. So what exactly is the company working on? (Besides books, anyway.)
- This doesn’t bode well for the iPod touch. ↩
- When helping my girlfriend set up her apartment’s Internet, we went with The Wirecutter’s recommendation, the TP-Link Archer C7, and it’s proved to be one of the few disagreements I’ve had with the site. Not sure if the unit we got was just bum, but it’s been incredibly unreliable and its range has been unimpressive. ↩