Now that Amazon has bought eero, it’s time for Apple to revive the AirPort line

“After Apple discontinued its AirPort line-up (which was a mistake), one of my favorite replacements was the eero home Wi-Fi system, which is handsome, easy-to-use, and pricey,” Dennis Sellers writes for Apple World Today. “In other words, it’s a product Apple could’ve/should’ve made.”

Sellers writes, “Now that Amazon has scooped up eero, I wish the tech giant would revive the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule.”

“I know that Apple may be spreading its resources over a lot of product lines,” Sellers writes, “but since the company wants to make connectivity and computing as simple as possible, it seems strange that they don’t want to control such an essential part of the home online experience.”

eero's 2nd generation  Home Wi-Fi System (1 eero + 2 eero Beacons)
eero’s 2nd generation Home Wi-Fi System (1 eero + 2 eero Beacons)

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on Tuesday:

Most people aren’t going to make the extra effort to learn about Wi-Fi hardware, spend extra money and install it. They’re just going to settle for whatever rented device(s) their ISP offers. In fact, as owners of their own Wi-Fi hardware know, the ISP usually doesn’t go out of their way to help with such setups. That’s likely why Apple exited the business. The market is just too small and the cost of educating consumers as to why they might want something better than their ISP’s rented box(es) is too high.

Why didn’t Apple buy eero instead of Amazon? – February 12, 2019 to buy mesh wi-fi system-maker eero for an undisclosed amount – February 11, 2019
Apple exited the home Wi-Fi market at the wrong time – December 31, 2018
Apple removes all AirPort products from online and retail stores – November 17, 2018
How to set up your home network for many Apple TVs, Macs, iPhones, and iPads – June 12, 2018
Apple begins to sell out of AirPort base stations – May 17, 2018
Requiem for the AirPort base station: A testament to everything Apple was and isn’t anymore – April 27, 2018
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
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
eero’s new mesh WiFi system packs more power in an Apple-esque design – June 29, 2017
AppleInsider reviews eero Wi-Fi: ‘A solid option for Apple’s outgoing AirPort’ – February 27, 2017
With eero, you can kiss slow Wi-Fi goodbye forever – February 10, 2017


  1. I think things would be different for an apple customer if the wifi also had the ability to Back up the Mac,,, using a proper version of Time Machine, WHICH iCloud cannot do, (or am I missing something?) It is insane to me that i can only get files to iCloud but not do a proper complete time machine automatic back up. the iPhone BU works,, Apple doesn’t even seem to understand all their customers needs in so many ways, Am i missing something? because it would be great to have an all in one device.

    1. You do realize the iPhone backup to iCloud does not backup everything on your iPhone don’t you? The only way to do a full backup is to do so to a local computer with the backup encrypted.

      If Apple were to supply a series of routers that fully supported both wired and wireless networks (including full mesh networking, bridging, and double NAT) that the user could tailor at will — and make it as robust and bullet proof as the last versions of the Airport systems — then Apple would have a major seller.

      Further, if they included a straightforward and simple way to do an encrypted backup of ALL of the user’s devices (whether based upon an Apple OS or Microsoft OS or Linux), then Apple would have something that people would go out of their way to replace less capable and less user friendly systems.

      I’ve said it here before, I know people that would not own any other piece of Apple equipment than the Airport boxes — either at home or at work — no matter what the Apple equipment is or the circumstances of use.

      MDN’s take is essentially giving up.

      If we look at it that way, Apple should have just closed up shop within months after IBM came out with its first PC; Apple should have closed months after Windows 95 started shipping; Apple should have folded months after the Android OS started shipping; the list of when Apple should have just given up, given MDN’s take, would be nearly endless.

      You do not do what Tim Cook has done and abandon a business segment where your most loyal and staunch customers exist. Sure, it’s not as flashy as the iPhone. Sure, it does not get Apple the same multiples on Wall Street as services do. However, it maintains a core segment that keeps people coming back to Apple.

      It seems Tim Cook and the rest of the senior staff don’t get that point in any way.

    2. If only Apple had sold such a product, with a router AND internal backup storage that could do Mac backups wirelessly…oh wait. I will use my Time Capsule until the day it dies.
      As for an iCloud Mac backup, it’s a nice idea for notebooks with limited storage, but a couple terabytes of iCloud is too pricey to consider that. I have a local external hard drive to do daily Time Machine backups, and keep external hard drives safely locked up at my workplace to do periodic backups. Even if my house burns to the ground, I can be back up and running with only a minimal data loss within hours of buying a new iMac.

  2. Yeah, the MDN take is pretty stupid and short sighted. Apple can cede the center of the home network to a poorly supported ISP and horribly implemented/supported third party wifi devices (including Eero) or it can solve the problem of the home network in a very Apple way.

    Nobody is asking Apple to replace an ISP modem. But people have the choice of getting a combo modem/wifi device from their ISP or getting their own wifi device to provide services.

    A robust Apple wifi router with other services — like interconnecting all other Apple devices with backup services, printer, TV, receiver etc. — can only serve to enhance hardware sales and to push integrated services into the home.

    1. I agree that Apple needs to reconsider its position with respect to home networking. If Apple intends to support a robust and secure smart home ecosystem, then secure wireless communications between smart home devices is of paramount criticality.

      Apple needs to deliver on the promise of smart homes in terms of ease of installation, ease of configuration, ease of use and management, flexibility, and security. Apple is supplying the iPhones and iPads and iOS. Apple is supplying HomeKit and licensing HomeKit-compliant third party products. But how is Apple working/helping to pull the smart home ecosystem together? What are the roles of HomePod, AppleTV, etc. in the future of the smart home?

      At this point, I am unwilling to install any “smart home” connected devices, regardless of whether they work with HomeKit and Apple devices or not. I do not have any reasons to trust these devices with my privacy or security.

    2. Yes! Shortsighted is the word that that came to my mind when I read MDN’s comment. It is true that Comcast tries to blame every single problem on your equipment that you don’t rent from them. Doing so, therefore, isn’t for the non-tech savvy folks. However, how many non-tech savvy folks are investing in the various smart home devices? I’d guess nearly none. And many tech savvy folks are not going to without a trustworthy router! Apple has lost its collective mind on this issue. If I can get all that stuff to work with a trustworthy, easy to configure and manage, remotely accessible router, I’d be buying all that stuff AND the router for my folks, family and friends, as so many of us did with the Apple Airports. Currently, I recommend people stay away from all those IOT products.

    3. @JC – agreed.

      For those with a glimmer of insight, your ISP publishes a list of ‘acceptable’ DOCSIS 3.x modems (for example) that they work with. Buy one. Bring it to them with your rented box under your other arm. They take back theirs, ‘register’ your newly purchased and owned modem (simple bar code scan does it…but this is Comcast, so YMMV). Sure you can buy a new modem with wi-fi, but as things change, does the mfgr update it regularly? Sometimes yes, most times no. I prefer to keep modem separate from wi-fi/router.

      The new modem is paid off in less than a year of rental, is much faster than their rental, and now the ‘secure wi-fi’ part of the home network is up to me. My last-get Airport is doing fine. If you think ‘hub’ in the future with IOT, I’d sooner have an Apple-centered hub world around HomeKit, than any other brand, or ISP owned. But, hey, that’s just me, in the relative minority, right Apple?

  3. Apple needs its own mesh WiFi solution badly. If we all become convinced that privacy is a hopeless dream in an automated home because Amazon is tracking every online thing at the router source, there is simply no reason to pay Apple’s privacy premium for iPhones, iPads, Macs, or Apple Watch. Apple must provide a private, secure WiFi option for the home or lose the war to Alexa.

    1. Indeed! That Apple has not already seen the future on this and doesn’t already have a proper solution for sale, is really perhaps one of the most troubling things I’ve seen out of Apple since we lost Steve. So many of us thought/hoped they would incorporate it into the Apple TV or HomePod and that was perhaps why they were letting the Airort languish. Once again, disappointed by Apple of late. I’m starting to think disappointments are what they do best.

  4. I’m definitely not buying any device from google or amazon. We know they will use it to track your activities. It was annoying when Ring was bought by one of them. I had installed the video doorbell only a few months ago.
    I don’t trust any of these guys to preserve my privacy.

    1. Nest, Eero, Ring…those are just a few examples of potentially interesting products that have been taken over by unreliable and untrustworthy companies.

      Preserving th privacy and security of my family is very important to me. I have absolutely no faith that Google, Microsoft, or Amazon is invested in those things. Apple appears to be the only large tech company who places an emphasis on these things.

  5. These are my thoughts exactly. I replaced all my Apple routers with everything eero. The minute I found out about Amazon buying them I wrote to tell them I would be looking for something else even though I love their product. I just don’t want Amazon in my home.

    1. Don’t you want to talk to Alexa and let her listen to you in every room of your house? She really wants to get to know you so she can give you suggestions on what you need to buy from Amazon. Maybe you’re just being sensitive. Most consumers don’t seem to care if they have eavesdropping devices in every room of the house. There is a lot of praise for Amazon selling smart listening devices for such a low price. Buy a dozen or so devices and Alexa can follow you around your house or apartment. It’s perfectly legal for Amazon to bug a house as long as you want to be bugged.

      No thanks, I pass on that smart listening stuff. I don’t need such attentive devices in my house. I know Amazon and Google are personal data-mining companies and I’m not going to support them in their quest for more personal data. Apple is rather stupid to just hand over the home front to those data-mining companies after always talking about privacy and security. Thanks for nothing, Apple.

      1. The flip-side is there are probably enough people out there that feel more secure with having an external ‘backup’ of sounds in the home, especially in high crime areas or when they are not at home.

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