Bloomberg says Apple is getting out of the router business

Bloomberg reported today that Apple is getting out of the router business. I have never owned an Apple router, but based on my research, I tried to steer people away from them on my site.

One reason I offered was that Apple has not updated their routers since 2013. Not just the hardware, the software too. Last December, Glenn Fleishman wrote that the cheapest Apple router, the AirPort Express, was last updated in 2012. Apple routers felt abandoned long before Bloomberg reported that they really were abandoned.

What prompted this blog, however, was not the router news, but a sentence in the Bloomberg article

Routers are access points that connect laptops, iPhones and other devices to the web without a cable.

This single sentence has three mistakes. 

1. Routers and access points are two different things. A router can function as an access point, but it is much more than that. Apple never made access points, they made routers.

2. Routers do not connect computing devices to the web, they connect them to the Internet. The web and the Internet are two different things.

3. Routers also have wired Ethernet LAN connections. In the old days, routers only supported Ethernet, Wi-Fi came later. Apple routers support Ethernet.

All reporters can't be technical experts, but heck, this was a story about routers.

Worse still, is that no one at Bloomberg corrected this. The company must employ thousands of techies, how is that none of their collective knowledge can make it into a news story? 

Later today, Apple routers were discussed in a Bloomberg video where a reporter claimed that "Amazon built routers into some of its echo type devices" (30 seconds in).

They did not. Echo devices are not routers.

Finally, the first article included this (emphasis mine):

While router makers can differentiate the design of their products ... they reliant on advances first made by chipmakers to be able to offer new, higher-performing models.


Starting to see a pattern? 

If you own an Apple router, when the time comes to upgrade, I offer advice on the home page of The site also has an introduction to routers, which is more needed than I realized.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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