Apple To Disband Group Behind AirPort & Time Capsules… Why I Am Bothered By This

Bloomberg posted a story yesterday about Apple making the decision to disband the group that is responsible for their AirPort WiFi routers and Time Capsule WiFi router/wireless hard drive products. The good news is that the employees that were part of this group will be reassigned to other groups within Apple. So at least nobody will lose their jobs.

Now one could say that the move makes sense for Apple. After all, there are companies like Linksys and Asus who produce very capable routers that sell well for them, plus many ISP’s supply WiFi routers to customers, which means that there is little incentive for a consumer to by an Apple branded router. So why should they bother making them if that’s the case? But this move bothers me for one simple reason. It seems to me that Apple is trying to move people towards iCloud storage via features like Optimized Storage that appeared in macOS Sierra this year. Now I am not a fan of Optimized Storage, but by forcing customers down that path, they’d likely have to buy more storage on iCloud which would be a healthy revenue stream for Apple. Perhaps a greater revenue stream then producing their own WiFi products.

Now you could make the argument that Apple still has the Time Machine functionality that is built into macOS/OS X which works really well. But let’s face it. While there are power users such as myself who would set up a network attached storage device to allow for the same network backup functionality via Time Machine as an Apple Time Capsule, the average Mac user isn’t going to do that as this is something that is way above their pay grade. You can make a similar argument for using an external hard drive. But instead of technical complexity, the issue is discipline. In other words, the average user likely won’t do this on a consistent basis. Which means that there is always the possibility that when disaster strikes, they will not be able to fully recover. In either case, they’ll take the easiest way out of having to back up their files, which is to use iCloud. Thus the cynic in me says that Apple is counting on this. If that’s true, that’s very unfortunate as the reality is that as much as “the cloud” is the current cool thing in the universe, backing up locally is still the gold standard in terms of protecting your data. I for one would not like to pull across the 175 GB of data over the air from whatever “cloud” it is stored in if I needed to as it is way faster to pull it from some sort of local or network attached storage. Plus I do not like having a third party holding my data.

What do you think, I am seeing conspiracy theories where none exist? Or do  I have a point? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

 

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One Response to “Apple To Disband Group Behind AirPort & Time Capsules… Why I Am Bothered By This”

  1. […] is a bit of irony. Fresh off apparently killing off the group behind Apple AirPort routers, comes this news from J.D. Power that Apple beat out  wireless router vendors such as Linksys, […]

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