Fortune: Don’t risk buying Airport Extreme; could be ‘obsolete in a couple months’’s Peter Lewis is worried that Apple’s Airport Extreme is based upon “a half-baked standard, and some customers could get burned.”

“Airport Extreme is based on a “draft” 802.11g standard, meaning it hasn’t yet been formally ratified by the IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Changes to the 802.11g draft proposal are still being considered, and more changes are possible at the next meeting of the IEEE 802.11g committee, on April 14.”

“Why would Apple embrace an incomplete standard? Wireless 802.11b networking has been one of the few bright spots in the beleaguered high-tech industry over the past two years. Because it is faster yet backward-compatible with 802.11b, “eleven g” appears to be the logical, no-brainer successor to 11b. Networking and computer companies don’t want to miss out on a potential 802.11g bonanza, so they are offering 802.11g systems today, even though the specs are not yet final.”

“The companies, Apple included, say they don’t expect major changes in the 802.11g specs, and that any tweaks that the IEEE may adopt can be addressed later on, as software patches. In other words, Apple says it’s safe to buy Airport Extreme base stations and network cards today, even though the products might not conform to the final IEEE 802.11g specs when they are ratified this summer.”

“I wouldn’t risk it. There’s no guarantee that today’s “draft” 11g products will work with future Wi-Fi certified 11g products. Why spend hundreds of dollars on equipment that may or may not be obsolete in just a couple of months,” asks Peter Lewis for

Full article here.


  1. Apple already addressed this. They said that any revisions could be implemented using software or firmware updates. Just more FUD from another ignorant journalist.

  2. No, Lewis is right… I’ve owned 3 AEBS and none of them work properly. I am never able to stay connected to my cable modem for more than 12 hours. And my 12″ PowerBook Airport Card drops it’s connect every hour on the hour. Apple may not be able to fix this with a firmware patch. Could be big trouble, 2 firmware upgrades and it still broken. Hello?

  3. The FUD is from Apple, Nick. The company is indeed embracing an unfinished standard and they may NOT be able to address the changes with a simple BIOS fix. That’s why other companies are waiting.

    FUD? Ass.

  4. “Apple was one of five technology companies honored with the Outlook 4Mobility 2003 Innovation awards at the 13th annual Wireless Dinner last night at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel. Apple was rewarded for “showing the industry that Wi-Fi is cost-effective for mass adoption and for leading 802.11g implementation” in its AirPort Extreme products.”

    Apparently you’re not too cognizant when it comes to WiFi. I doubt they’d have gotten this award if they were putting out soon-to-be obsolete hardware. Besides, they did the same thing with the original Airport. And…they’re not the only ones who have released “g” products so far.

  5. DON’T BUY HP WIRELESS GEAR, EITHER!!!!! THEY ARE SELLING 802.11G!… as is Linksys, D-Link, etc.

    Unless they decide to change the frequency (which would require a different antenna that is optimized to the new frequency), any of this gear could be updated via firmware upgrades. Every wireless vendor (Linksys, AT&T/Lucent, D-Link, Asante, etc.) provide firmware upgrades when a new feature comes out or they fix something in their implementation.

    Why should the new Extreme cards/base stations be any different?

  6. Who is this Peter Lewis guy and what credentials does he have to throw out such Sh*t? FUD from an ignorant “journalist”. Anybody who has ever dealt with the press knows that most of them are idealistic, intellectual lightweights with large egos. I saw that first-hand while hand holding network TV and print “journalists” during my time in the Army. Most of them couldn’t find their a*s with both hands tied behind their back. Apple would not sell this base station without an upgrade path, especially since it was based upon an incomplete standard. FUD for sure from Elmer Fudd.

  7. I have a 12″ PB and an AE base station. Brilliant brilliant brilliant.

    [The setup was a bit PC like. Still don’t know how I managed to get access to the web AND my Quicksilver.]

    Even if there’s a change, how will this knacker my ability to work anywhere in the flat?

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