Apple has closed the division responsible for designing its wireless routers, reassigning the employees within the company and putting an end to its 17-year-old AirPort product line, sources close to the company have confirmed.
The iPhone-maker currently sells three router devices developed by the division: the £99 AirPort Express, a small wireless access point, the £199 AirPort Extreme, a larger wireless router, and the Time Capsule, a wireless router with an in-built hard drive for backups, which is available in two sizes for £299 and £399. But none of the devices have been updated since 2013, after years of near-annual alterations to support the latest wireless networking technologies.
Bloomberg News reports: “Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups.” Beneficiaries include the Apple TV division, which saw a major boost in importance last October when the fourth generation of its hardware was released.
As a result, Apple has apparently been discontinuing numerous hardware products. When it launched the new MacBook Pro in October, it demonstrated the device with a premium 5K monitor made by LG. Until that month, Apple had made its own high-end monitors, which were quietly removed from sale after the press conference.