Would you like to see a new Apple AirPort router with WiFi 6E?

I certainly would. WiFi 6E is so much faster than WiFi 5 or even WiFi 6. If Apple is going to put WiFi 6E in their devices this year, they should also release a next-generation AirPort router to take advantage of WiFi 6E. Most WiFi 6E routers on the market are extremely capable.

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Today, with the exception of Macs, Apple likes products that sell in high volumes for premium prices. Apple released their last AirPort router in 2013, I don’t think they have any interest in getting back into networking.

But to answer your question, I might consider using an Apple mesh system after it’s been on the market for 2 - 3 years. If it has superior performance and a competitive price.

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Apple leaves markets that have gone “mass market” where there is little added value they can offer. And they never look back. Examples: printers, WiFi access points, server computers, monitors (under $5000).


Printers: people either want a cheap one or a really great one. Hard to find a “sweet spot”. A great office printer sucks at printing photos. And vice-versa. There’s a reason Epson and Canon have dozens of models. Apple went away from the Performa-times, and they try to have a limited product range. What would an Apple printer be?
Routers: many affordable plug&play routers out there. I did a quick network scan on my building and EVERYBODY is on 2.4GHz, nobody enabled or cared about 5GHz. Most people “just want Internet”. For the “pro’s”, a plug&play router might be too limited (VPN, port trunking,…). So what would the Apple router be? 6GHz plug&play? 6GHz with dozens of features?
Servers: Apple sucks at servers/corporate.
Monitors: see printers.

Apple dropped the ball by discontinuing the Airport series.
Network / Internet is the backbone of all Apple products without it they are practically useless. Leaving this core component of the user experience to 3rd parties is in my opinion a big mistake.

They should have bought Eero and integrated it in their product line.


I had an Apple laser printer back in the 1980s even though I didn’t have an Apple Computer. Back at the time the advantage was it was a Postscript printer. I actually wrote Postscript for the printer to print. Crazy good results I couldn’t get with anything else at the time. But, yes, they couldn’t make a cheap printer for home use. Likewise they couldn’t compete with LCD monitors or WiFi access points once they were no longer novel and became mass market items.

I used an Airport Extreme for about a decade. It performed excellently and NEVER crashed in that entire time. But I’ve now replaced it with a Ubiquiti UniFi at about 60% the cost that works even better. Frankly, I could only justify the AE at the time because it was rock solid, and most people don’t care about that as long as it doesn’t crash too often!


I disagree. Apple never did with their routers what Eero now does: Eero can focus on their routers, they have been innovative and deliver a good product with a continual stream of firmware updates.

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There was a reason for the LaserWriter series. It was either documents looking like crap (dot-matrix) or going the desktop laser route.

Today we have: very cheap printers that make nice prints (documents), printers for bulk printing, printers for high quality prints. We even have subscription models. :smiley: Where would an Apple printer fit?

Apply that to routers. When the Airport came out, routers were crap. Especially their configuration inferfaces. So, there was a reason to make an “easy to set-up” router. I don’t know what an Apple router would be today.

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Another vote for the sentiments above – there are plenty of good consumer wifi options on the market now (ie, Eero, Amplifi, etc) and apart from putting the settings in the Home app I don’t see what Apple could really bring to this.

Sure, if they make one I will consider it but only after my current Amplifi system becomes obsolete a long time from now.

Knowing Apple, they would want to sell to the largest market possible. And that would have to include Windows users, most of whom still don’t know that Mac and Windows accessories are interchangeable. (Think about all those USB drives labeled “Works with Mac” or “Works with Windows”)

It might be fun to see an Apple router with a big “Works with Microsoft Windows” label on it. But I doubt that will happen. :grinning:


It is a bit too late for that. :stuck_out_tongue:

They might look back in the case of less expensive monitors.

HomeKit integration? Eero appears to have two routers which already support HomeKit. Linksys seems to have recently announced one router that will support HomeKit.

Honest question, was the AirPort router useable in a Microsoft Windows environment? I remember having to configure it with a OS X application and don’t remember if it came with a Windows app for Windows users.

Also: when Airport was a thing, cable modems didn’t have WiFi. We all had to buy a WiFi router and attach it to the cable modem. Yesterday I did a quick WiFi-Scan of my surroundings and almost every WiFi was from a WiFi-enabled cable modem. So, why would they buy an additional router?

I not only turned off WiFi on my cable modem but had it turned into bridge mode, completely “dumbing” it. And I attached a “high performance” WiFi-router. Because I want VPN and other features. Eero has no VPN, you would buy one because of mesh. Cheap and “easy” routers don’t bring more to the plate than the cable modems.

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A “lower priced” monitor would likely still be too expensive! When the Thunderbolt display came out in 2011 at $999 it was priced competitively to the high end (at the time) 27" Dell UltraSharp display. Can Apple make a monitor to sell at 1/5 the price of the Pro Display XDR? You can buy a lot of monitor for $1000 today.

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Yes. I used a couple of airport extremes to get a rough idea of what I would need to install WiFi at my company. They worked normally with Windows, Mac, and various devices. Apple did provide a Windows app.

I used UniFi components for the permanent installation.

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And if companies use 5G to solve the last mile problem that’s only going to increase.

Can you even get “Internet” for your home without WiFi? Of course I don’t know every provider’s details. But I got Internet for my home about ~1 year ago and AFAIR, you got WiFi in the router with the ones I looked at. I could have gotten better ones (“gaming”), but the base models all had WiFi. Since I knew I was going to dumb it down, I didn’t care. But, if memory serves me correctly, no WiFi-less cable modems.

That why they should have brought Eero for their knowledge to make a jump start.

My provider uses standard DOCSIS protocols and allows subscribers to use their own equipment. I haven’t leased a modem for at least 12 years.

At one time I also owned my own DSL modem and would switch from cable to dsl every year so I could continue to pay a special introductory rate. :grinning: Eventually the speed offered by the phone company couldn’t compete and now I pay full price. :cry:

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Not possible with my provider. I am locked into the provider’s modem.

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