Apple has announced that it has sold more than 150,000 AirPort Extreme products during the March quarter. AirPort Extreme was introduced at Macworld San Francisco 2003, and is included in the 12" and 17" AlBooks, the 17" iMac, and the entire PowerMac G4 line. The new wireless networking technology (based on the 802.11g standard) provides for up to 54 Mbps, as opposed to the original AirPort technology (based on 802.11b), which allows up to 11 Mbps throughput. Appleis press release does not specify how many of the 150,000 units sold were bundled with machines, such as the 17" PowerBook, which comes with the card as a standard option. From Apple:
Apple today announced that more than 150,000 AirPort Extreme wireless networking products have been sold this past quarter, representing nearly half of all 802.11 products the company shipped during the quarter. AirPort Extreme is the next generation of Wi-Fi wireless networking technology based on the new ultra-fast 802.11g standard. Compatible with millions of 802.11b-based Wi-Fi products, 802.11g offers data rates almost five times faster and is quickly gaining widespread acceptance as the next generation standard for wireless networking.*
AirPort Extreme works with the installed base of 802.11b devices, including public Hot Spots and Wi-Fi certified 802.11b Windows solutions. With up to 50 users per base station, AirPort Extreme supports many more users than typical base stations, providing the flexibility and power to service both homes and schools. AirPort Extreme Base Stations offer advanced features such as a USB port for low-cost wireless USB printer sharing and the ability to bridge up to four additional AirPort Extreme Base Stations together.**
Appleis new 17-inch PowerBook G4 includes the AirPort Extreme Card, and for AirPort Extreme-enabled systems, including the 12-inch PowerBook G4, 17-inch flat-screen iMac and new Power Mac G4 desktops, the card is available for just $99 (US). Starting at just $199 (US), the 802.11g AirPort Extreme Base Station operates at up to 54 Mbps -- nearly five times faster than 802.11b technology.*
*Based on IEEE 802.11g draft specification. Data rates greater than 11 Mbps require an AirPort Extreme Base Station, an AirPort Extreme Card, and an AirPort Extreme-ready computer. Actual speed will vary based on range from the base station, environmental conditions and other factors.
** Wireless printing over USB requires Mac OS X version 10.2.3 or later and a compatible printer.
You can find more information on AirPort Extreme at Appleis Web site.