Apple on Thursday announced that it is discontinuing its lineup of AirPort wireless routers including the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and two variants of the AirPort Time Capsule. This development comes months after Apple had reportedly abandoned development on its AirPort division and had shifted the entire team to other departments including iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
In a statement to 9To5Mac, the Cupertino giant said, "We're discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products. They will be available through Apple.com, Apple's retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last." After AirPort stocks run out, Apple will continue to sell third-party routers from makes like Linksys.
Apple has not updated the AirPort lineup since 2013. Currently Apple sells the AirPort Express for $99 (roughly Rs. 6,600), AirPort Extreme for $199 (roughly Rs. 13,200), the cheaper 2TB AirPort Time Capsule variant for $299 (roughly Rs. 19,900), and the 3TB AirPort Time Capsule for $399 (roughly Rs. 26,600). There is no update on whether Apple will re-enter the market at anytime but, for now, it seems there are no plans in the near future.
In a new support document, spotted by 9To5Mac, Apple has outlined details around what customers should look for while upgrading from their existing AirPort devices. Apple recommends features including IEEE 802.11ac, dual-band Wi-Fi with support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, WPA2 Personal (AES) encryption, and MIMO or MU-MIMO support.
The tech giant also recommends using a mesh network, although AirPort devices have never supported one. "A traditional, single router is suitable for the size and layout of most home environments. For areas that are larger or more difficult to cover, mesh Wi-Fi systems offer flexible coverage, with multiple nodes that make it easy to provide whole-home Wi-Fi. If you're setting up or extending a mesh network, check the requirements of your mesh router to learn about compatibility with other routers or nodes. Creating or extending a mesh network might require that each router and node be from the same manufacturer."