Why Apple shouldn't have killed AirPort

The AirPort lineup from Apple was one category of products that didn't completely fit into the companies vision. It just never really felt like it completely fit into a traditional Apple purchase. I bet most people barely even know about the Apple AirPort lineup, and I question how many Apple loyalists actually used an AirPort product.

For a little bit of background AirPort was released in 1999, and was discontinued on April 26th 2018. Although on August 28th 2018 Apple released an AirPort Express firmware update that added AirPlay 2 and Home app support to the device.

I have been a fan of the AirPort products for a very long time, and continue to use them for my WiFi needs. One of the biggest reasons that I still use the AirPort lineup is the fact that I can plug a hard drive into the device and use it to wirelessly backup my entire computer using Time Machine. Now it's very possible that other routers allow for that functionality, but honestly I haven't done the research to confirm or deny this. Even if other routers do support that functionality, the fact that I'm using Apple products end to end, from Time Machine for the software, to AirPort extreme for the hardware feels a lot safer for my backups. On top of that the AirPlay features were truly amazing for the lineup, and Apple I believe confirmed this by releasing a firmware update to support AirPlay 2 despite the line being discontinued.

I'm sure very few people would walk into an Apple Store to buy an AirPort router. I also doubt many people who were buying a new computer would need to buy a new router. The reality is most people buying a computer don't normally need a new router.

Although it makes sense why Apple decided to kill the AirPort line, I still believe it provided a lot of benefits to customers, and I honestly struggle to know what to do when the time comes to replace my router. I'll have to do my research to figure out if other routers provide iOS or macOS apps to setup the router, which routers have the easiest setup and customization process, if any routers support adding another router as an extension point to boost the WiFi signal, and which routers will seamlessly integrate into a wireless Time Machine backup solution. I think the reality is every single one of those items Apple did better than any other router manufacture, which is why I believe Apple should not have killed the AirPort lineup.