Last Thursday, Apple discontinued its entire network product line. The company announced that the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule would be lost. You can still buy the remaining stock (if you do not mind against Frozen-era networking technology) and they will still work. Just do not expect Apple’s CEO Tim Cook to bring out a shiny new next-generation Apple router on the WWDC keynote in June – or at any other time in the future, unless the company believes it’s the network room can really reinvent.
While some bemoaned their downfall, the death of the AirPort line surprised no one. By not updating its networking products since 2013, Apple has gone potential customers further down the road to newer, better-looking products from vendors that innovate with such innovations as networking – Eero, Netgear, and even Google to call.
The Death of the AirPort line is in stark contrast to the fate of the Mac Pro. Apple’s high-end computer remains untouched for much of a decade. It has been virtually abandoned by the creative community of the Mac – until the company revealed in 2017 that it would be revived and redesigned in the future. Not only that, but Apple would therefore develop new standalone displays – and thus cancel the exit from the monitor business, as it turned off the Thunderbolt display in 2016.
But what about AirPort and Mac Pro colleagues – the other Apple products that have been floating for years? They are not dead, but they do not like it because “Apple needs to refresh them soon, right?” Will they get out of the execution, a la Mac Pro? Are they marching to the gallows, like the AirPort line? Or will they continue to occupy any mid-range product bluster that continues to limp without updates?