Apple Said to Abandon Development of Wireless Routers
Apple has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, according to Bloomberg. The company began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced. Apple hasn’t refreshed its routers since 2013 following years of frequent updates to match new standards from the wireless industry.
The decision to disband the team indicates the company isn’t currently pushing forward with new versions of its routers. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s plans. The products, which cost $99, $199, and $299, respectively, make up a small slice of Apple’s revenue and are part of Apple’s “other products” category on its financial statements. The category, which includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV, generated $11.1 billion in fiscal 2016, or about 5 percent of total sales.
Exiting the router business could make Apple’s product ecosystem less sticky. Some features of the AirPort routers, including wireless music playback, require an Apple device like an iPhone or Mac computer. If the company no longer sells wireless routers, some may have a reason to use other phones and PCs. Earlier this year, Apple stopped making its own external monitors and in October introduced a new strategy by selling new high-resolution screens for professional users with LG.