Less than two weeks after reports emerged that Apple had disbanded its AirPort router team and reassigned its resources to other departments, JD Power has revealed that the company's products have topped the charts in its second annual Wireless Router Satisfaction Report.
JD Power measures router satisfaction based on ten parameters including Wi-Fi range, reliability, security, price, features, and customer service. This year's study covered 3,037 users who had bought Wi-Fi routers over the past 12 months. Compared to last year's findings, overall satisfaction rose 2.7 percentage points from 82.7 to 85.4 percent.
Apple topped the charts with its score of 876 out of a possible 1000. Last year's winner Asus took second place with 860 points, followed by D-Link and TP-Link with 856 and 854 points respectively. JD Power credits companies with improving their products and taking steps to adapt to more demanding user requirements, which now include multiple devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart devices, and TV streaming boxes or dongles.
While satisfaction improved across all parameters, ease of use (including installation) was the most improved aspect of router ownership. The problems reported most frequently include how often a router needed to be reset, slow Internet speeds, limited range, and cumbersome installation. It isn't clear whether the quality of Internet service was distinguished from the quality of the routers in question when measuring satisfaction with Internet speeds.
Despite Apple coming out on top, the survey indicated that price was the most important consideration buyers had when choosing a Wi-Fi router, followed by range, brand reputation and ease of use. The average price paid for a router was $124 (approximately 8,477), an increase of $16 over the previous year's finding.
Fans of Apple's router range, which comprises of the AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express and AirPort Time Capsule were disappointed last week by widespread reports that the company is not investing in further development. Apple has not officially confirmed this move, but the products have also not been refreshed in several years now, and Apple has recently begun tightening its focus on products and services that generate the bulk of its revenue. The move would also fit in with the recent decision to end in-house monitor development and instead partner with LG on a new line of 5K displays for Mac computers.