Is the age of Apple-branded accessories coming to an end?
Rumor has it Apple will be discontinuing the company's wireless routers, a line that currently consists of the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and Time Capsule products last updated in 2013.
Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg:
Earlier this year, Apple told me they were discontinuing the Thunderbolt display. So, this wouldn't be the first accessory Apple cut to focus on core products.
If true, I'll miss both the easy AirPlay feature of the AirPort Extreme, and the set-it-and-forget-it backup capability of the Time Capsule. The former let me beam music to any speaker system plugged into the Express. The latter just worked over wireless to keep a local backup of my MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Hopefully Apple will partner with other vendors to fill those gaps. Just like LG replaced the 4K and 5K displays Apple decided not to ship, a variety of router makers could step up to support AirPlay and Time Machine.
There's a lot Apple could still do with a home hub, including nearline iCloud, update staging, HomeKit handling, multi-person Siri voice control, and more. But, all of that would factor into a future product, not a past one, and it would be more of a device in its own right and less of an accessory.
Still, Apple still seems intent on updating other accessories, like the Magic line of Keyboard, Mouse, and Trackpad. The first of those, Magic Keyboard, seems especially primed for an update that includes Apple's new Touch Bar and Touch ID setup for Mac.
So, maybe it's better to frame it as Apple clearing the deck of what was so the company can focus on what's next?
Either way, I've used AirPorts for over a decade, they've always served me well, and I'll always appreciate the hard work and dedication of the teams behind them for that.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
This is a very sad day :(
Not only that, but I am further disappointed that Apple has not made it officially known that they will no longer will be supporting the Apple Community in this arena. They owe it to our community to be able to switch over to new supplier and/or to purchase Apple product from the remaining stock with an understating that it is the end!
I have had netgears that worked quite well but all of them got flacky wireless connection after 1.5 -2 years.
Then I went To Apple routers. They might not have been speed monsters but they have been incredible stable and I like the ease on how to maintain them.
Then I bought a new time capsule and dreaded the work on setting it all up again. But what happened Apple automatically discovered the new router and asked If it should copy the settings to the new, 5 mins. Later my new router was up and running. That was the ultimate: "It just works". Never experienced that on any other router.
Honestly what is going on? Have Apple started a collective suicide?
It is the eco system that makes Apple Unique.
An LG screen doesn't promote Apple.
Magsafe feature has gone another unique feature.
The new macbook Pro is priced outside normal users and built to alienate the "Pro" user.
Dumbed down the mac mini
No update of macpro - couldn't afford it anyway.
And now we need third party routers Unless there are stuff going on they do not tell us about (As usual).
Apple cables have always been everything else but durable and now we have to buy dongles for everything sometimes even the same dongle twice. One for mac and one for an ios device.
Honestly APPLE you make it very difficult to be an Apple fanboy.
Apple you may sell a lot of iphones without the rest of the eco system.
But I really do not believe that counts for the rest of the stuff you make.
I have the AE Express (n) i've not used in 5 months. The only good thing i like about Apple's wireless stuff is their easy to set up, but the downside i hate is the lack of port forwarding on them.. Coming from someone who has a Billion they are more loaded with stuff, if u want/need it, and without needing to add something to the mix to just get internet access. When you know something doesn't get updated for 2+ years (or sometimes sooner) it's usually either Apple has 'moved on' or just waiting. The same happened with the Apple gold watch,, that didn't last too long either