Apple pulls AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule from U.S. stores

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Apple's routers are #1.
Good luck getting an AirPort Extreme today.
Photo: Apple

Apple Stores in the U.S. are no longer selling the AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule. It’s thought both devices were pulled as the result of a new FCC ruling that comes into effect soon  — but it’s likely they will return at some point.

The move was first spotted by MacRumorswhich reports that readers in a number of U.S. states were unable to find the AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule in stores this morning. An Apple employee later confirmed they had been pulled, but did not explain why.

It was initially believed that the disappearance may have been due to a recent firmware update to both devices, or perhaps to make room for refreshed models that might be announced at WWDC next week. However, it seems the real reason is a lot less exciting.

Apple appears to be complying with new FCC regulations for router software security, which have a deadline of June 2, 2016. This would explain why both devices are still available to purchase in Apple Stores outside of the U.S.

“Starting June 2, 2016, permissive changes will not be permitted for devices approved under the old rules, unless they meet the requirements of the new rules,” the FCC states.

“All devices partially or completely approved under the old rules cannot be marketed starting June 2, 2016 unless they meet the requirements of the new rules in all the bands of operation.”

It’s unclear if Apple just needs to get these devices re-approved, or whether it will need to introduce new models. What’s strange is that as things stand, both products can still be purchased from the Apple Online Store.

Whatever the case may be, it’s likely Apple will be working to resolve it already, so we expect the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule to reappear again soon. In the meantime, you may still be able to find them in third-party retail stores.