The enthusiasm was premature. The mysterious “successor to AirPort” is apparently not intended for the public
It’s only been a few dozen hours since the Internet was flooded with enthusiastic reports that Apple may soon revive the relatively recently killed AirPort router product line, allowing Appleers to rebuild their wireless Internet to address it. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm now seemed premature. The MarRumors portal shed more light on the documents at the US Certification Authority (FCC), which revealed a few details that practically preclude possible use on store shelves – at least in the version that Apple had certified.
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A certified network adapter, as Apple itself describes it, has three hooks. The first is the lack of support for the 802.11ac wireless standard, also known as WiFi 5. In view of this, it is clear that the device would not be usable with older electronics, which would cost Apple a significant portion of potential customers. The second catch is that the adapter uses only the 2.4GHz WiFi band and not 5GHz, which is the absolute standard for modern routers, both in a separate form and in various compounds that allow the connected device to “jump” from band to band according to which one suits him better in speed and coverage. From today’s point of view, therefore, this is again a meaningless and commercially deadly restriction. The third hook is the power supply style of the adapter. There is an old USB-A available for this purpose, which Apple does not use for power supply, as it uses USB-C or its own speech in the form of Lightning instead. Although both of these ports are available on the adapter, they are for synchronization only and not for power.
In view of all these facts, it is practically clear that in the form that Apple has certified for the device, it would absolutely burn out on store shelves, which, even with regard to its name, it cannot absolutely afford. Practically the only explanation for the certification is that it is a device designed for internal purposes, whether in offices or Apple Stores. Apple has a lot of them, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t continue to expand.
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