Perhaps this is stating the obvious but amongst today’s clamor of Apple’s miscellaneous product updates ^^Each model in the desktop line got refreshes today: new Mac minis, new iMacs, and new Mac Pros.^^^ was a related, relatively silent update: the new AirPort Extreme.
It’s an important but understated move that acknowledges two other products which did not get updated today: the iPhone and the ï£¿tv.
With respect to the first, the dual-band nature of the new AirPort Extreme is a direct nod to the iPhone. Apple is selling shitloads of iPhones – shitloads of them, by just about every available account. But the iPhone’s wi-fi is 802.11g; and there is no indication that 802.11n is going to debut in that handheld device any time soon. This “deficiency” more/less directly cannibalizes (or otherwise damages) sales of the previous generation of AirPort Extreme. Why pay a premium for an 802.11n router when you’ll just need to step down to g for that fancy new phone? No longer: setup dual-band to add simultaneous g and n connectivity and suddenly you’re golden. And you don’t have the added hassle of bridging your n and g networks manually. So you could do things like (you know) use that Remote app.
And that there is our oblique nod to the ï£¿tv. What’s represented in the iPhone ^^…and/or iPod touch.^^^ Remote app is part of that digital hub vision. Your phone (i.e., iPhone) likely doesn’t leave your hand/pocket/side. With a little AirPort (nee wi-fi), you can control the music etc. from wherever you are in the house (i.e., on the network). Where the dual-band re-enters the equation here ^^Since 802.11g has been a trust home sidekick for so many years now with nary a re-buffered moment of iTunes streaming, eh?^^^ is that Remote remains useful (over g) while still allowing you to maximize throughput (over n) to ï£¿tv for music and (increasingly) video ^^Didn’t Steve Jobs allege during its introduction that ï£¿tv was something of a hobby for him? a personal project?^^^. Acknowledging the iPhone/ï£¿tv relationship in this equation also includes one other oblique nod: to the other, non-Apple devices in the home’s digital hub that are quickly falling into the 802.11g ghetto ^^Roku Netflix player, I’m looking in your direction.^^^. The dual-band nature not only says We’re here for the iPhone, it also says We’ll play well with others.