Apple abandons development of wireless routers

“Apple Inc. 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 people familiar with the matter,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg.

“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 the people, who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced,” Gurman reports. “Apple hasn’t refreshed its routers since 2013 following years of frequent updates to match new standards from the wireless industry.”

“Apple currently sells three wireless routers, the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule,” Gurman reports. “Apple. “Exiting the router business could make Apple’s product ecosystem less sticky. Some features of the AirPort routers, including wireless music playback, require an Apple device like an iPhone or Mac computer. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wi-Fi router capabilities to be built into Apple’s Echo echo?

As we wrote in March:

Something along the lines of Amazon Echo is what Apple should have done if run by competent, forward-thinking management. When Apple finally does do their version of Amazon Echo (and they will get around to doing such a product eventually) they will rightly be called a follower. The company had all of the ingredients to make their own Echo, before Amazon, except for the vision, it seems.

And, as we wrote on June 15th:

There could be a psychological component to this that leads people use Alexa over Siri precisely because they know the Echo is there (it’s a physical object), but forget about Siri being everywhere, even on their wrists (because Siri is embedded inside devices that are “for other things” in the user’s mind (telling time, watching TV, computing, phone calls, etc.) and therefore “hidden” to the user. Hence, Siri gets forgotten and goes unused while people use Alexa…

Again: We believe people use Alexa because Amazon Echo is a physical manifestation of “her,” while forgetting about Siri even though she’s on their wrists at all times and/or in their iPhones and iPads because Siri is hidden inside objects whose primary function is something other than “personal assistant” in people’s minds (watch, TV, phone or tablet, as opposed to “Siri.”) Alexa is present thanks to the Amazon Echo. Siri is absent because she has no such counterpart; no physical manifestation.

Siri is a ghost. Alexa is that cool, fun, glowing tube right there on the counter.

Apple would do well to not discount the psychology behind why people use certain features, even though cold, hard logic tells them it’s a redundant and unnecessary product.

An “Apple Echo” device would sell in the millions of units per quarter and boost Siri usage immensely.

Apple’s Amazon Echo echo – September 26, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo rival said to include includes built-in cameras to read users’ emotions, recognize faces – September 23, 2016
Apple’s Siri-powered Amazon Echo-like device reportedly now in prototype testing – September 23, 2016
Why an ‘Apple Echo’ would be a hit – June 15, 2016
New Apple TV to take on Amazon’s Echo, source says – May 26, 2016
Apple preps Amazon Echo rival, opening up Siri – May 24, 2016
Apple should make a stationary voice command device like Amazon’s Echo – May 19, 2016
Google unveils its Amazon Echo knockoff called ‘Google Home’ – May 18, 2016
Where’s Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo? – March 31, 2016
Amazon Echo leads mindshare in smart home platform war – February 29, 2016
Why did Apple buy a startup whose tech can read emotions via facial recognition?/a> – January 7, 2016
Apple buys Emotient, maker of artificial-intelligence tech that reads emotion by analyzing facial expressions – January 7, 2016


          1. After reading the Wikipedia article on Airplay, it appears that the Airport device is not required for streaming via Airplay from your iPhone to an Airplay compliant speaker/stereo. If your stereo system is not compliant perhaps there is a compliant device that you can attach that will replace that function of the Airport devices.

    1. Apple is moving to a three product company…
      Apple Watch
      iPad (though iPad isn’t getting that much love either)

      Everything else is a late to market, lobotomized “also ran” or is likely to be discontinued in the next three to five years. And, and those that may survive past 2020 will be turned into “appliances”. I really have zero confidence that in 2021 we’ll be able to buy Macs from Apple.

      Once upon a time (well, actually, NOT that long ago) Apple had one of the cutting edge wireless routers. Apple was one of the first companies to ship 802.11n routers. It was a major step forward for Apple’s ecosystem. Up until 2013 Apple’s routers were some of the best (and occasionally some of the very best). I had read reviews in non pro Apple media that actually recommended Apple’s routers.

      Now, we’ll be stuck upgrading to other routers and extenders (Airport Express is still stuck in 802.11n — no 802.11ac which has been a fully approved/ratified standard since 2014 and has had chipsets shipping since 2011).

    1. With the revelation that Apple has been selling iPhone 7 in different component configurations for the same price, consumers totally unaware, was the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back.’

      Cook needs to go, pronto!

      When he does, let’s celebrate his legacy:

      –Dumbing down software, FCP for one.

      –Killing software, Aperture for one.

      –Soldering boards in Mac Minis that are not upgradeable.

      –Removing ports from the MacBook and MacBook Pros while charging more.

      –Gutting Project Titan.

      –Eliminating the wireless router division that Steve once held up proclaiming in his magical style — “amazing.”

      –Dumbing down the GUI visuals beginning with iOS 7 with flat abstract icons that confused the user.

      Removing the headphone jack to FORCE third-party added expense solutions and additional charging.

      –Ramping up the planned OS obsolescence of Apple sturdy made products.

      –TOTAL NEGLECT of the Pro Computer market!!!

      I know I missed a lot, but you get the downward drift.

      They are building a new spaceship campus while eliminating products and divisions?

      I’ve lost faith, sorry …

  1. Apple is making it really difficult to remain in its ecosystem. I have been waiting for a USB3 equipped Time Capsule to replace my existing one; now, that’s obviously a third-party choice. Not good.

  2. This is pretty terrible news if true. I love airplay. Looks like it’s time to go buy a few more before they do t have them anymore. Can’t say I’m loving the new direction Apple is taking

  3. Airplay is not going anywhere. We will just have one less Airplay device. Back to My Mac is hosed though. The average user will have a challenge getting it working with most third party routers.

  4. Tim is quickly turning the keys to Apples future to others. Apple will soon make only fashion statements that you will pay for the name but not the innovation. No Tv or movie streaming service. That goes to a Netflix and Amazon. No more routers. That now goes to the new Google routers and possibly Amazon Echo. Google Tv will be out in Q1 2017. No need for lame 1080i Apple TV. Tim and his buddy Eddy have gutted this great company.

  5. Every company invests in new product research. Some products make it, some do not. A lot depends on products from other company’s. It’s good to have your own echo system, but at what cost. Market research is important to evaluate if your product is going to make a good build to sell ratio. Knowing when your product is not going to make the cut is key, all you’ve lost is the tax deductible research costs.

  6. Couple with the news that Eero now works seamlessly with Alexa (but no announcement on HomeKit), and while understandable, really seems like a problem. I’m particularly concerned about shared drives. Anyone got a solution?

  7. This would be unbelievable. It’s far too seamless to just eliminate. All the functionality I’d be losing would likely be yet another push toward competitors.

    Apple isn’t making displays anymore, but here are some third party ones.

    Apple isn’t making routers anymore, but here are some third party ones.

    Apple isn’t making computers anymore, but here are some ******* windows machines?

  8. Yet another Apple Product apple is forcing me Not to buy! First desk/laptops because of the insane prices, then Iphone 7 (and most likely all of them from now on, keep removing ports), I’ve been waiting for a new AirPort Extreme so I could use my old one in my garage as an extended so I have full 802.11ac coverage, but nope, I keep waiting for the new apple product, but it keeps arriving over priced with features removed, or is never going to arrive as in this case, even the atv4 remote absolutely sucks and I’m looking at the competition now, go ahead, remove the headphone jack from iPads and I’ll have absolutely no reason to buy Apple anything. It’s pretty sad, Apple has almost completely forced me to stop being a long time customer, just over the course of the last 1.3 years.

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