Apple to Refresh AirPort & Time Capsule Next Week?



Photo: Apple

As Apple retail stores begin to clear their inventories of the AirPort and Time Capsule wireless networking devices, could Apple be planning a refresh for these devices during WWDC next week?

A source for MacRumors reports that his local Apple retail store has completely sold out of both Time Capsule units, in addition to the AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme base stations. Another source reports that at a separate location all Time Capsule units are sold out, and that a sales representative revealed there are no shipments planned to replenish stock of the current device.

TUAW readers are also reporting similar stories:

A reader let us know that all of the Apple Stores in his area are out of AirPort Express models, and one of our sources confirmed the Apple Store in his area is out of stock on not just the Express, but the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule as well. Another source says supplies at one store are not constrained and never have been, but the store “may have” received a notice to send its AirPort device inventory back.

When Apple’s retail stores begin to run out of certain products and shipments cease arriving, it’s often a good indication that a product refresh is on its way. With WWDC less than a week away, will Apple refresh these products at some point during the 5-day event, despite speculation that it will focus entirely on software?

  • Dlmiddlecote

    I’m pretty sure that this refresh has something to do with iCloud…

  • Euro_MacHead

    This will be one hell of a Steve Show. 2 hours minimum. 

  • Blank

    A huge data centre has been built in N Carolina (with another one apparently being built in Silicon Valley sometime soonish). Could it be that Time Machine will back up to iCloud rather than Time Capsule as a paid for service? Not everyone would switch immediately and that would give Apple time to build more. Seems Apple is moving away from local storage – see Apple TV for a precedent.

  • CharliK

    There are like 250 stores in the US plus a ton of best buys etc. Have they all been checked. No. Apparently it’s like 3 stores that are out and a sales person who could be clueless about what’s going on. 

    Maybe they are low on stock, because a major component was built in Japan and the factory was damaged in the earthquake. Or perhaps there was a silent recall due to a QC concern and those few stores are the ones that got the possibly bonked units. They wouldn’t give out that info to the staff because if it got to the public there might be a run on return demands for perfectly good units. Maybe they are revamping the devices. But that doesn’t mean they will mention it at WWDC anymore than they are likely to talk about the Back to School promotion at WWDC. Both will just silently turn up at the stores. The only condition that would result in them talking about any of the devices at WWDC is if it directly connected to the software being discussed. But then it is likely to be just a drive by mention of the device in general. Such as “And with Lion you can create a emergency boot partition on any wifi connected hard drive including the Time Capsule and ‘net boot’ if your internal hard drive’s system folder is damaged”

  • CharliK

    It might be an option (just like it has been with idisk for years) but it won’t be the only way. Folks are too paranoid about their data to risk a Sidekick incident. 

  • Joshua Stockwell

    I could see Airport Express getting a video output to make it fully AirPlay compatible.

  • EasyOSX

    It makes some sense, however I’m not completely sure the Apple is ready to move all of these things to the cloud.  Some people like to have some of their stuff locally to reference or reclaim. One of the things they might be doing, at least for things like Time Capsule, is giving them SSD’s to make them faster, lighter, and smaller.  No as sure about what they might do with the Airports though.

  • George

    Yeah right

  • Andy Powell

    It doesn’t make any sense at all. My MBP backs up to Time Machine every day  and there’s no way I want to push a couple of GB up to any cloud based service. Maybe you have fiber or something? My connection, although fast downstream, upstream isn’t so good. 

    Then you have to deal with recovery over the internet – that’s going to be really slow when compared to a local Time Machine. Disks are cheap these days, there’s no need to push everything to the cloud – if anything.

  • EasyOSX

    Actually, I never said I had fiber.  And if you read my comment, you’d know that I said I don’t think they’d be ready to move everything to the cloud just yet for this very reason.  I think Apple is more likely to go along the lines of what does, which is to give you a service that allows you to backup to the cloud, but that same service still provides you with a way to store locally.  

    And yes, unless you did have something like fiber, then restoring over the Internet would take a long time, especially with Time Machine’s “past versions” feature.  If this cloud backup is true, then this versions thing would most likely remain a local feature only.  Furthermore, there are stil plenty of people using DSL or non-fiber Internet to backup online, even if it’s something like Dropbox.

  • Andy Powell

    I accidentally clicked reply on your post when it was meant for ‘Blank’

  • EasyOSX

    Oh, my mistake.

  • Andy Powell

    Well, mine really ;)