The technology had been standardised; it had a name; now Wi-Fi needed a market champion, and it found one in Apple, a computer-maker renowned for innovation. The company told Lucent that, if it could make an adapter for under $100, Apple would incorporate a Wi-Fi slot into all its laptops. Lucent delivered, and in July 1999 Apple introduced Wi-Fi as an option on its new iBook computers, under the brand name AirPort. “And that completely changed the map for wireless networking,” says Greg Raleigh of Airgo, a wireless start-up based in Palo Alto, California. Other computer-makers quickly followed suit. Wi-Fi caught on with consumers just as corporate technology spending dried up in 2001.
It feels weird to me that Apple have stopped making Wi-Fi routers. Coupled with the news of them leaving the display business, it just all feels a little… un-Apple of them to seemingly let go of so many components of the total user experiece.
With regards to wireless networking, I can’t help but feel that it’s simply because Apple is moving to launch a home automation hub to compete with Google Home & Amazon’s Alexa. I really do hope that is the case. It’s starting to feel like Apple is cutting a whole lot of things before providing adequate replacements. And nothing pisses people off more then not being sure of what’s next.