Apple is apparently preparing to disband its internet router division, with plans to distribute staff to other parts of the company. It seems that the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and the AirPort Time Capsule will all be discontinued sooner rather than later.
It’s been three years since Apple last launched a new router, so it’s not too surprising to see the company make this decision. However, there will certainly be plenty of users who are disappointed to find that they’ll have to look elsewhere for a replacement when their current AirPort router gives up the ghost.
Apple has been in the process of shutting down its wireless router team for the past year, according to a report from Bloomberg. It’s expected that rather than laying off staff, most people working as part of the team will be reallocated to projects that bring in more revenue, such as the group charged with development of Apple TV.
This isn’t the first example of Apple exiting a particular hardware category in recent months. In June, the company discontinued its Thunderbolt display, which prefaced a collaboration with LG on brand new monitors targeted toward Mac users.
It seems feasible that the company could pursue a similar strategy in terms of its router business. By partnering with another outfit that specializes in that area, Apple could offer a router that’s in keeping with the Mac design aesthetic without having to take on the risks and costs associated with a relatively niche product.
Apple is yet to comment on the future of its router business officially, and AirPort products are still available via the company’s official online store. However, it seems like the writing could be on the wall for this particular sector of Apple’s output.
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