Apart from the Macbook and iPhone lineup, Apple also sells a range of wireless routers under the “AirPort” brand name. But not anymore. According to a new report by Bloomberg, the Cupertino-based company has reportedly shut down the division responsible for developing routers.
The primary rationale behind the disbandment seems to be Apple’s new strategy which includes shifting focus on products that generate the majority of its revenue. However, the move isn’t entirely a sudden decision, Apple has been gradually migrating the team over to various other product sections including Apple TV, as stated by a company spokesperson. Until now, Apple was retailing three routers namely the AirPort Express for $99, AirPort Extreme at $199, and AirPort Time capsule that also doubles as a hard drive for $299, all of which haven’t been upgraded since 2013. The wireless industry has received several new standards following that period. These devices were associated with a tiny margin of Apple’s profits and belonged to the “other products” category which also houses Apple Watch, TV, and produced a total revenue of $11.1 billion in 2016, merely 5 percent of the entire sales.
The abandonment may also provoke some existing users for switching to other operating systems like PCs and Android as the AirPort series was compatible with only Macs and iPhones. The move will also benefit other networking companies such as D-Link, Netgear, and Belkin. Apple, though, hasn’t released an official statement regarding this news yet.
Moreover, it is worth noting that Apple also exited the external monitor business and announced a partnership with LG Electronics for selling high-resolution screens last month at their MacBook launch event. Apple has been encountering harsh criticisms from professionals and potential buyers on the new Macbook Pro laptops, claiming that the upgrades are only incremental and a touch screen would’ve been more suitable for advanced tasks. It will be interesting to see how the most valuable company structures its 2017 roadmap which also marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone.