Apple Discontinuing Airport Line
One of the realities of today's companies, regardless of industry and age, is that no company can focus on everything all the time. There are times throughout a company's life when they feel as though it is worth the effort to create and maintain a product. As time progresses, I may become less worthwhile to maintain the product. Apple has decided to stop making and selling all of their Airport products. This includes the AirPort Extreme, Airport Express, and the Time Capsule.
Apple has indicated that it will be supporting the product with security updates for five years. The products themselves will still be sold through Apple.com and Apple Authorized resellers while supplies last.
It is not really any surprise to those who have been following Apple for a while. The AirPort line was introduced in 1999 by Steve Jobs at the same time the iBook was introduced.
At the time Wireless networking was basically non-existent. The introduction of the AirPort base station helped propel the industry forward. Today there are a large number of companies that are doing more with wireless. One of the technologies is Mesh Networking.
While it is sad to see the AirPort line going away, I cannot say that I am surprised at all. I likely will not be replacing my AirPort base stations anytime soon. Unless one of them dies. If it does, I am not sure what type of wireless router I would go with. I own my own cable modem, and it does not wireless built-in. At that point I may just see what the best recommendation for wireless routers. I know that one of the things that I will look at is whether the company does regular security updates.
If the discontinuation of the AirPort line means that Apple can focus on other new products, then it will ultimately be a good decision.