Apple to Discontinue Wireless Router Development [REPORT]
Apple 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 a new report from Bloomberg.
To recap, the company’s AirPort lineup comprises up of the $99 AirPort Express, $199 AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule products (routers that sport their own dedicated hard drives for a higher price tag). According to this report, Apple is reallocating employees to focus on its core consumer products that generate a vast majority of its revenue.
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 people familiar with the matter. The sources asked not to be named because the decision has not yet been publicly announced.
However, this reallocation brings about a possibility that Apple will be introducing newer products in the near future. With the 802.11ad standard expected to popularize in the coming months, we could see an AirPort Extreme satisfy the faster wireless standard while being backwards compatible with previous standards. In addition, AirPort Express was limited to just 802.11n, so it is also possible that we could be seeing an 802.11ac refresh down the line.
The AirPort lines have also been seeing discounts in recent weeks, suggesting that they are coming to an end-of-life. Routers are not the only thing Apple has been getting out of recently; it also has exited the standalone external display business.
Do you think that Apple should exit the router business, or introduce better models down the road? Let us know in the comments below.