Earlier in the year, we published several open letters to the Apple team on the future of the Mac product line. In one I briefly mentioned the Time Capsule and Airport Extreme. While it has been encouraging to see the latest product reveals at WWDC, especially the iMac Pro (Great effort, but could have been even better) there was no mention of WiFI products. Perhaps it’s time for a follow-up open letter to Apple on WiFi.
Airport Extreme And Time Capsule
The Airport Extreme and Time Capsule enjoy amongst the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the market, despite being ‘behind the curve’ in features. Why do they enjoy such a following?
Ease of Use
Of all the Wireless routers I have reviewed, from every one of the major players, none come close to ease of installation and management as displayed by the Apple products. The simple fact is the Airport Utility, like most Apple utilities, just works. Plug any Apple WiFi product in, open Airport Utility, and within minutes your network is configured and running seamlessly. If you have a Time Capsule or plug in a USB external hard drive, add another minute or so, and automated backups are added to the mix. A backup system I might add, while not including bootable, gives painless recovery access to individual files.
As mentioned above, the current product mix is somewhat long in the tooth, and missing features compared to the latest devices from Netgear, D-Link, and others. An updated (and restyled?) product line could address this easily.
The greatest selling point and reason for Apple continuing to develop WiFi products is security. Products from almost every major supplier have been shown to be woefully inadequate when it comes to security. In all the reports of compromised networks, Apple has been conspicuous in its absence from the list of compromised devices.
Loyal Customers Are Waiting!
If Apple can recognise the folly of the current MacPro and dropping it’s Thunderbolt displays, hopefully, someone at Apple can recognise the folly of abandoning the WiFi market.
Apple, your loyal customers have been prepared to pay a premium for the ease of use and security of the Airport line. We remain willing to do so.
10GB Ethernet included?
The latest iMac Pro is a seriously good piece of kit, though Apple did betray us somewhat in refusing to allow for user upgradeable RAM and storage. One of the intriguing features of the new iMac Pro (apart from the seriously sexy colour) is 10Gb Ethernet. Apple has the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the pack by releasing an updated Airport line with 10Gb Ethernet, giving you the opportunity to stay above the commodity end of the market, while continuing to support loyal customers with arguably the easiest managed and most secure WiFi routers in the market.
Time to step up – Again.
Apple, you recognised the folly of the current Mac Pro and exiting the display market. You gave us (almost) what we wanted in an iMac Pro. Use some of the undeniable talent in your development teams and give us an updated range of Airport product. PLEASE!