updated 10:15 pm EDT, Wed June 1, 2011
Apple stocks out of AirPort, Time Capsule
Multiple reports Wednesday night slipped word that Apple retail stores were running out of the company's wireless routers. A number of readers mention the AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule all being out of stock, often all at the same time. MacRumors had heard just of stockouts, but TUAW had heard that even one store with stock might have been asked to return unsold inventory, indicating that it was a discontinuation, not just a supply issue.
Apple is still expected to keep offering networked routers. Its goals with a new router wouldn't be immediately evident. The most probable candidate is an upgrade to 450Mbps peak speeds to support the faster networking present in 2011 MacBook Pro and iMac systems. Earlier AirPort and Time Capsule devices weren't speed-constrained online, but added performance would help at longer ranges or with large transfers, such as a Time Capsule backup.
Other options could include external redesigns, the first since each of the devices went on sale, or changes to their expansion for audio out or USB ports.
Network sharing should play a larger role in Mac OS X Lion through features like AirDrop and could possibly play a role in iOS 5 for over-the-air updates.