updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue September 13, 2011
May get 'tune-ups' shared by other Apple routers
Apple is planning on releasing an updated AirPort Express, AppleInsider indicates. The site quotes a source "familiar with the matter" who says that Apple is finishing up AirPort Utility 5.6, a software update with "Adds support for the AirPort Express 802.11n (2nd Generation) base station" in current developer notes. Resellers are meanwhile reporting problems with present-gen Express availability; Amazon expects new stock in 2 to 5 weeks, while DataVision is claiming that the product has been discontinued. Apple continues to have stock at its online store.
Plans for the Express are uncertain, but are likely to copy changes made to the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule. Both routers were recently revised with better performance, reliability and signal power, but at the time the changes were not carried over to the Express, which has always served a secondary role in Apple's networking lineup. The company may be more concerned with updating it given the impending release of iOS 5, which should allow AirPort configuration and make the Express more desirable as a quick and portable way of getting iOS devices online.