Apple Inc. Reported To Discontinue Production Of Wi-Fi routers
As part of a broader effort to refocus on products that contribute substantially to its bottom line, Apple Inc. is reported to have 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 Bloomberg.
The disbanded the division is also responsible for the company's AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time capsule products. In turn, engineers from the recently disbanded division have since been reassigned to other product areas within Apple, BGR reported.
Routers are access points that connect laptops, iPhones and other devices to the web without a cable. Apple currently sells three wireless routers, the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time capsule. The Time capsule doubles as a backup storage hard drive for Mac computers.
The products, which cost $99, $199, and $299, respectively, make up a small slice of Apple's revenue and are part of Apple's "other products" category on its financial statements. The category, which includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV, generated $11.1 billion in fiscal 2016, or about 5 percent of total sales.
The report was not a surprise as Apple failed to update its aforementioned lineup of routers since 2013. Additionally, Apple begin to streamline its already streamlined product line up as of late, with the company reportedly exiting the external monitor business as well.
Other companies such as D-Link Corp., Netgear Inc. and Belkin International Inc. have rushed to adopt new standards while Apple Airports was noted to be far behind on such developments. Apple, which has charged more for its routers, has focused more on integrating control of its devices into its computer operating system and industrial design. T
Kirk McElhearn points out Apple killing its router division was arguably long overdue. "Frankly, it's about time," McElhearn notes. "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."
Incidentally, Apple's trio of routers are still available for purchase on Apple's website. Watch Apple's newly uploaded video below: