Rumor: Apple has disbanded its wireless router division, reassigned personnel to more profitable product groups
Date: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016, 05:37
Category: Hardware, Rumor, wireless
As much as you love your AirPort router, it may be the last of its kind.
Apple has apparently disbanded its wireless router division, having moved personnel away from this to focus on products that generate more revenue.
Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said sources who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced.
Apple hasn’t refreshed its wireless routers since 2013 following years of frequent updates to match new protocols from the wireless industry. The decision to disband the team indicates the company isn’t currently pushing forward with new versions of its routers. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s plans.
Apple’s wireless products, which retail for $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 core of the technology in routers comes from chipmakers such as Broadcom Ltd. that advance Wi-Fi technology through developing the fundamental components. While router makers can differentiate the design of their products, the number of antennas and the software that controls them, their reliance on advances first made by chipmakers to be able to offer new, higher-performing models.
Earlier this year, Apple stopped making its own external monitors and in October introduced a new strategy by selling new high-resolution screens for professional users with LG Electronics Inc.
So, that AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule you know and love may be the last of its kind, leaving you to buy your next router from an alternate manufacturer.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.