FCC filing outs a new Apple network adapter, but what is it really?

Time capsule
Time capsule (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new Apple network adapter has appeared in FCC filings.
  • The device will be powered via USB-A.
  • The slow 2.4GHz Wi-Fi antenna suggests this isn't a replacement for the discontinued AirPort hardware.

A new FCC filing for an unannounced Apple "Network Adapter" has been spotted, but it isn't yet clear what it actually is. Despite the name suggesting this is a new network adapter that we might be able to buy in the future, those hoping for the return of the AirPort line of Apple-made network kit might be left wanting.

The new FCC filing mentions that the device features all kinds of goodies including NFC, Bluetooth, and a whopping 32GB of storage. Model number A2657, the device certainly sounds like something that we might want Apple to release.

A2657 is a network adapter. It has an integral battery, two gigabit ethernet ports, USB-C connector and antenna. The device supports IEEE 802.11b/g/n radio, Bluetooth radio, and NFC. The network adapter comes with 32 GB memory storage and 1.5 GB RAM.

But there's a problem. The whole thing is set to be powered via a USB-A connector, suggesting that this isn't actually an AirPort replacement at all but rather something that Apple could use internally. The slow 2.4GHz Wi-Fi technology is also being used here, again suggesting that this isn't something meant for people who need the fastest connection possible.

9to5Mac was the first to report on the filing and its assertion that the device is "mysterious" is spot on. Unfortunately, it appears we might have to wait a little longer for Apple to give us the best Mac network accessory an Apple user could hope for — a new Apple-branded Wi-Fi router.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.