Requiem for the AirPort base station: A testament to everything Apple was and isn’t anymore

“Somewhere in my basement I have an original graphite AirPort Base Station,” Michael Simon writes for Macworld. “It’s one of the few non-working Apple products I couldn’t bring myself to recycle, and the reason is two-fold. One, it’s one of the Apple’s best designs. In an age where routers were ugly boxes with giant antennas, Apple’s curved base station really did look like a UFO. Even after it stopped working, I kept it on my shelf for years.”

MacDailyNews Take: Ditto.

“The other reason is its history,” Simon writes. “Even more than the iPhone, iMac, iPad, and iPod, the AirPort Base Station is, to me, the greatest example of Steve Jobs’ genius.”

“The impact the original AirPort had on the industry was immediate and massive, at least as great as the iBook itself,” Simon writes. “And now it’s dead. And we’ll probably never see another product like it from Apple ever again.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: R.I.P, AirPort.

We were at that Macworld NY keynote address in 1999 in the Javits Center and, boy, was it electric!

Watch for Phil Schiller jumping with an iBook from a pretty decent height around the 1:10:00 mark:

Interns: TTK!

TGIF! Prost, everyone! 🍻

SEE ALSO:
Apple makes yet another short-sighted decision: Apple has discontinued a product that it should have made a cornerstone of its home automation and entertainment ecosystem – April 27, 2018
Watch Steve Jobs passionately defend his commitment to Apple in 1997 – April 27, 2018
Apple’s decision to discontinue AirPort products is the wrong decision at the wrong time – April 27, 2018
Apple pulls plug on AirPort Wi-Fi router business – April 26, 2018

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Doug” for the heads up.]

55 Comments

  1. I think the key concern of Apple customers and especially fan-boys is that they lose their lead and become average.
    The MacBook keyboard issue is a poignant example. The Mac Server deprecation is another (a disaster for many schools.) And here we talk about networking infrastructure.
    We don’t want them. to become the next IBM, HP, or DEC.

  2. When Steve announced that he was changing the name from Apple Computer to Apple, I said to myself, “Why? Isn’t an iPhone a computer?”

    Does anyone know if that name change may have had anything to do with the seemingly aimless decisions we have seen since Steve’s death? Is it possible that this recent and current “roadmap” for which we all blame Tim was/is actually what was laid out by Steve? Just asking, I don’t think so, just looking for a sensible explanation in the midst of a sea of bad decisions vs intentional trend… so why the name change really?

    1. We can only guess what’s in the dead man’s mind. But he may have envisaged becoming another Sony like entity with more expanded consumer products such as iPod (at the time) and the whole host of others, but never forgetting the roots (computers and peripherals). One thing he probably never thought of was that Apple today is no longer a computer only company all right but definitely a one pony trick “phone company”. The current management does not seem to have other consumer gadget other than the iPhone…..

      BTW, one of the other strengths of the AirPort line of routers was their true plug and play feature. You just plug it in, and forget it, true to Mac’s traditional theme.

  3. I think they (Apple leadership) are fat, lazy and mailing it in.
    The company that made the Airport, the iPod, the iMac, the MacPro workstation, OSX, and the early generations of iOS are gone elsewhere or retired. That was a small lean company and it was hungry and ran like someone was chasing them with a gun. Apple today is huge, immobile, directionless and chasing innovations pioneered elsewhere.

    Not innovation- imitation & iteration. Just like Microsoft under Ballmer.

    The Bozos, hangers on and overhead remain.

    Somebody had to say it.

  4. Steve Jobs was about one thing, making great products for Apple customers.

    “You’ve got to start with the customers experience and work back to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and then try to figure out where you’re going to sell it.” Steve Jobs

    1. interestingly enough.. the ipod was developed the other way around…
      it was the advent of a miniture hard disk that led to the thought.. a least that is what is written the the Jobs Book.

  5. Can you imagine how bad it would be if we had the fashionista Angela Ahrents as CEO, which some normally insightful people have said would be swell. Apple had better do something soon to reestsblush the old commitment to product leadership and excellence and integration.

  6. I don’t see why so many are complaining. It’t not like Apple never stepped out of a product category before. Remember the LaserWriter? The last time I had to buy a router I decided to go for flexibility vs ease of use. I got an ASUS router and have not looked back. It replaced an aging first generation TimeCapsule. Before that I had an Airport Base Station, first generation. The ASUS has been solid for me. Sure, I had to learn a bit more and make informed settings decisions, but I can do a lot of things with this router than what Apple provided with it’s Airport line. I can block content, set limits for my kids devices, auto reboot every week to keep things clean. The Apple solution was good to get started, but once you gain a bit more understanding, it limits you to the point were you are simply better served with something else. Apple just realized that and they are exiting a commodity market in the same fashion as they did with printer market years ago.

    1. True, Apple does step out of markets … but its usually because they got lazy & fat and others hustled and beat them at their own game.

      And the LaserWriter is an excellent point on this: they were still trying to sell them for $7500 a pop when HP was below $3K. Its no wonder that the HP then sold like hotcakes, even in Mac offices, when the HP with the network adaptor still saved a wad of cash per node.

  7. They could have cornered the printer market – but gave it away.
    They could have cornered the Voice over IP market – but gave it away.
    Why are they leaving money on the table?

    I hope they have an Ace up their sleeve – and know when and how to use it in the game.

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