In anticipation of the iCloud launch this fall, Apple will begin shipping a new version of its AirPort Express portable 802.11n base station, with the current-generation already having been discontinued, according to one source.At least one authorized Apple reseller (DataVision) quoted by AppleInsider is said to have learned that current AirPort Express base stations have reached end-of-life status.
Apple is yet to make an official announcement regarding the discontinuation of the old model, or the launch of a new one. The Mac maker has, indeed, scaled up its offerings in terms of WiFi routers recently.
In addition to the info obtained by DataVision and other unnamed resellers, Amazon also appears to have been tipped off regarding the AirPort Express refresh. The online retailer says it will not be able to deliver any units for “2 to 5 weeks” starting now.
There’s more. An anonymous source allegedly privy of Apple’s plans says the Cupertino giant is readying a software update tasked with adding support for the new hardware.
This person reportedly said this update will bring the AirPort Utility to version 5.6 on Macintosh computers.
The release notes actually make reference to the unreleased hardware product, according to this person: “Adds support for the AirPort Express 802.11n (2nd Generation) base station.”
The current-generation AirPort Express uses 802.11n wireless technology to deliver up to five times the performance and up to twice the range of 802.11g wireless networks.
AirPort Express is targeted at the Apple TV, iPhone, iPod touch, and all other Wi-Fi devices that use the 802.11a/b/g/n wireless standards.
Customers can still visit the Apple online store and buy an AirPort Express Base Station with 802.11n and AirTunes for $99.
However, with this refresh now being rumored, we’d advise holding off your purchase for a while if it’s not too urgent. Apple is likely to charge an identical price for a new version.