The supply of AirPort Express has, so far, been consistent since the last summer’s refresh. Recently, that consistency is nowhere to be found with widespread AirPort Express stock-outs at Apple stores and several Best Buy outlets. Though units are available at the Online Apple Store and a few retail stores, some locations are showing orders with “Ships to store” and “Unavailable for pickup” statuses. Sales representatives are unable to give customers an estimated arrival time for new shipments of the Wi-Fi router. It is uncertain whether or not the stock-outs indicate a refresh, but there is speculation that it’s a likelihood. One source says that the timing of the Express stock-out is “ suspect given the first AirPort Express debuted in 2004, with Apple releasing two subsequent generations at four-year intervals.”
The June 2012 refresh produced AirPort Express featuring dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi compatibility, as well as a redesigned look and new wireless and connectivity abilities. When the latest MacBook Airs came out this past June, so did support for 802.11ac standard and revamped AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule models. If a refresh is, in fact, right on the horizon, consumers can expect Apple to “deliver 802.11ac support across its entire Mac lineup as new models roll out.” Though a new AirPort Express probably will not be released at Apple’s September 10th event, it is rumored that Haswell-based MacBook Pro models will debut alongside the iPhone 5s, and a new Mac Pro is scheduled to be released around the end of this year.
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