Apple has announced it won’t be a contender in the wireless router business anymore. This means it is the end of the road scenario for AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme as well as AirPort Time Capsule.
Apple however assured there would be regular update and patches made available while hardware support will also continue for the foreseeable future – five years to be specific – but not beyond that. Also, of course, there won’t be a fresh iteration of the routers developed. All three versions will be on sale still stock last but won’t be replenished ever again.
The above however isn’t entirely unexpected given that the writing on the wall has been there for quite some time already. The company had already disbanded the team dedicated to the routers division. To top that off, the company had also begun selling Linksys Velop Mesh Wi-Fi systems via its own stores starting January this year.
However, Apple had then stated its AirPort line-up would remain intact and that they remain committed to it. It is not known though what triggered the reversal of sorts so soon down the line. As of now, the AirPort Express can be bought for $99 while the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule command price tags of $199 and $299. That means there are no discounts available either from the Apple channels though third-party resellers might bring down the price to let go of unsold stocks quickly.
The Redmond company has also been quite lazy when it came to providing timely updates for the AirPort range. The last time an update was made available was back in 2013. That applied to the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule. The AirPort Express has been even deeper in the lurch as it was updated last only in 2012.
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The company meanwhile has also come up with support documents to make users better aware of the right Wi-Fi routers to buy to make the best with their current Apple devices. Elaborating further, the company said any router with 802.11ac, dual-band support, WPA2 Personal encryption, and MIMO or MU-MIMO features would be best suited.