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.
Frankly, it’s about time. They’ve been limping along, unable to keep up with new technology. I used to really like Apple’s AirPort hardware, but somewhere in the past few years, it started to suck. They never updated the AirPort Express for 802.11ac, making their hardware useless in any but the smallest setups.
This said, the AirPort Express is still a useful tool for people who want to stream music using AirPlay. I’d recommend buying one or two if you use it for that. I’m not aware of any other device – other than the Apple TV – that works like this. Granted, AirPlay compatible amplifiers, receivers, and speakers, are now fairly common, but you may have hardware that doesn’t support AirPlay that you’d like to use for streaming.
No, no more Apple displays, no more routers, what’s next in low-hanging fruit they can eliminate? Pro-level desktop computers?
Update: I’ve had a few questions about which routers one should be using. The high-end routers from just about any major company are excellent, but if you’re in a situation where you need good coverage, you might want to look into the Netgear Orbi mesh wifi system. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) It’s pretty expensive, but I plan to buy things when it comes out in the UK in early December. Reviews are very positive, and it seems to provide good coverage in large buildings, such as my house. I’ll certainly write about this when I get it.