MG Siegler on Apple’s decision to discontinue its AirPort product line:

If Apple wants to get out of the wireless router business — a business they helped kickstart — fine. The problem is that they could have — and I’d argue, should have — been fundamentally changing this business for the better, in a way basically no other company can.

I’ve written in the past about what the Apple TV product should have been. To quickly recap: the entertainment box many of us know and like (but don’t love) mixed with gaming (true gaming, with dedicated controls, not the middling iOS ports with that awful remote) mixed with full Siri integration. In other words, they should have made the first “smart speaker” for the home, but actually better. Instead, we got a dumb Apple TV and a dumb HomePod. Two wrongs to make a wrong.

The writing has been on the wall for AirPort for years, but I largely agree with Siegler. I’m not saying Apple should continue to make mere Wi-Fi routers. I’m saying they had, and missed, an opportunity to make really smart, trustworthy home hubs like nothing else on the market. Something like an AirPort mesh network, Apple TV, HomePod, and Time Capsule rolled into one.

Thursday, 3 May 2018