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Apple reportedly shuts down wireless router development

A new report claims that Apple has disbanded its router division and reassigned its engineers in an effort to focus on more popular consumer items.

The Bloomberg report cites anonymous “people familiar with the matter”, who claim the company has been winding down its wireless router team over the past year.

Engineers are said to have been reassigned to other divisions such as Apple TV, following the move which, if true, will likely see Apple discontinue its AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule products.

There’s been no word from Apple on the claims, but the firm hasn’t refreshed its routers since 2013, having previously brought out consistent updates for the product line.

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AirPort Extreme 4The Airport Extreme was last updated in 2013

As Bloomberg notes in its report, Apple’s routers are classed as “other products” in its financial statements, and make up a small slice of its overall revenue.

The company also counts the Apple Watch and Apple TV in this category – a section that generated $11.1 billion in the fiscal year 2016, and which accounts for about 5% of total overall sales.

Earlier this year, Apple did away with its external monitor production, so it seems that if the new report is accurate, the latest decision to shutter the router section is part of a larger move to streamline the overall structure of the company.

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Apple has struggled to stand out in the router market in recent years, as devices from rivals such as Netgear are consistently released with support for the latest standards.

However, initially Apple made quite an impression, with the very first AirPort base station helping to popularise wireless networking.

But it seems that in 2016, the router is less important to Apple fans than the iPhone.

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Let us know what you think of the report in the comments.

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