APPLE HAS CONFIRMED that it's bowing out of the wireless router business after almost two decades.
The company confirmed to 9to5Mac that it's selling off its remaining AirPort products, including the £99 AirPort Express, £199 AirPort Extreme and £299 Time Capsule models, none of which have updated since 2013.
"We're discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products. They will be available through Apple.com, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.
Apple isn't offering much of an incentive to pick up one of its remaining AirPort routers, as it still flogging the ageing hardware at full-price. However, the firm told Engadget that it will continue to provide hardware and software for the devices.
For those that don't fancy picking up a four-year-old router, Apple will offer customers AirPort alternatives, and the company has already started to sell some third-party routers through its online store and retail outlets.
It's also released a list of router features that it recommends for Apple users, including IEEE 802.11ac support, simultaneous dual-band, WPA2 Personal (AES) encryption for security, and MIMO or MU-MIMO technology.
News of Apple's exit from the router business will unlikely come as a surprise to many, as Bloomberg reported back in November 2016 that Apple had made a sharp but silent exit from the wireless router business, with the firm's AirPort engineers moving onto other teams, including Apple TV development.
Apple at the time denied the rumours, saying: "People love our AirPort products and we continue to sell them. Connectivity is important in the home and we are giving customers yet another option that is well suited for larger homes."
However, it appears that as Bloomberg suggested, the firm has now decided to throw in the towel in order to focus on its more lucrative customer-facing products, such as the iPhone, iPad and MacBook.
While AirPort is all but dead, Apple might not be done with the wireless router market altogether. The firm told Engadget that the company may revisit the product line if it can "make a meaningful contribution to the space." µ
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