According to reports, various Apple Retail Stores as well as Best Buy outlets no longer have the AirPort Express Wi-Fi router in stock. The supply constraint is believed to be a hint that a new version might be launching soon.
Sales representatives at multiple Apple Retail Stores and Best Buy outlets across the U.S. are unable to provide an estimate of when new shipments of Apple’s router will arrive, those locations currently do not have the router in stock. The router is available for purchase through Apple’s online store, which is providing a shipping estimate of 24 hours, however some Apple Stores are showing “Unavailable for Pickup status” if a customer wants to get their unit shipped to a store.
The AirPort Express router was refreshed last year. Apple first released it back in 2004, then released two subsequent generations at four year intervals. Last year’s model brought dual-band 802.11n compatibility. This constraint is noticeable because since its launch last year, the supply has been consistent. In June Apple launched the refreshed MacBook Air line which brought support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. Alongside the new notebooks, the company also released AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule versions. It is believed that the company will upgrade its entire Mac lineup with support for 802.11ac standard, so it makes sense for Apple to release an updated version of its AirPort Extreme router.
Apple is rumored to conduct a product event on September 10th, where it is expected to launch the new iPhones. It hasn’t been rumored as yet whether the new router will be launched at this event as well, though seeing as how its not a major product that would warrant a separate event, there exists a possibility that the new Wi-Fi router might be announced at the event too.