As part of a broader effort to refocus on products that contribute substantially to its bottom line, Apple is reportedly planning. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple has disbanded the division responsible the company’s AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time capsule products. In turn, engineers from the recently disbanded division have since been reassigned to other product areas within Apple.
That Apple would say goodbye to its router development efforts shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, Apple hasn’t updated its aforementioned lineup of routers since 2013, itself a strong hint that Apple didn’t see a solid future for said products. Additionally, we’ve already seen Apple begin to streamline its already streamlined product line up as of late, with the company reportedly exiting the external monitor business as well.
Apple’s AirPorts have historically lagged behind those of companies such as D-Link Corp., Netgear Inc. and Belkin International Inc., which have rushed to adopt new standards. Apple, which has charged more for its routers, has focused more on integrating control of its devices into its computer operating system and industrial design. The company’s decision to leave the business may be a boon for other wireless router makers.
Commenting briefly on the matter, Kirk McElhearn astutely points out Apple killing its router division was arguably long overdue.
“Frankly, it’s about time,” McElhearn notes. “They’ve been limping along, unable to keep up with new technology. I used to really like Apple’s AirPort hardware, but somewhere in the past few years, it started to suck. They never updated the AirPort Express for 802.11ac, making their hardware useless in any but the smallest setups.”
Fair points all around. Incidentally, Apple’s trio of routers are still available for purchase on Apple’s website.