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On January 7th, 2003, Apple revolutionized the world of wireless technology with the introduction of the AirPort Extreme Card. This wireless card, part of the esteemed AirPort Card series, marked a significant milestone in the evolution of connectivity.
At its launch, the AirPort Extreme Card dazzled tech enthusiasts with its groundbreaking capabilities. Offering a maximum speed of 54 Mbps and compatibility with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, it swiftly became a game-changer in the realm of wireless connectivity. Priced at an affordable $99, it provided users with an accessible option to elevate their wireless experiences.
The AirPort Extreme Card, based on a Broadcom 802.11g chipset, boasted exceptional performance. Its custom form factor, while unique, maintained compatibility with the Mini PCI standard, ensuring seamless integration. Notably, users had the flexibility to install the card themselves, enhancing accessibility and convenience.
As technology progressed, so did the AirPort Extreme Card. With the release of the AirPort Extreme Base Station, it seamlessly integrated into existing models, enhancing connectivity across Apple’s product lineup. Noteworthy iterations included combo cards featuring both 802.11g and Bluetooth, catering to diverse user needs.
Apple’s commitment to innovation led to the integration of wireless capabilities into their products. By mid-2005, user-installable designs made way for integrated solutions across notebooks, iMacs, and Mac Minis. However, AirPort remained an option for Power Mac G5 and Mac Pro users, ensuring flexibility and choice.
The transition to Intel-based MacBook Pro models in January 2006 marked a new chapter for the AirPort Extreme Card. Utilizing standard PCI Express mini cards, Apple continued to refine wireless technology. Brand and model variations, such as Atheros and Broadcom, underscored the company’s dedication to performance and compatibility.
In early 2007, Apple propelled wireless technology forward with the introduction of Draft-N compatibility. This enhancement, available on Intel Core 2 Duo-based Macs, heralded faster speeds and improved performance. The optional application, enabling Draft-N functionality, showcased Apple’s commitment to empowering users with cutting-edge capabilities.
Despite its discontinuation on January 6th, 2009, the AirPort Extreme Card’s legacy endures. Celebrating 21 years since its release, it stands as a testament to Apple’s ingenuity and foresight. In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, the AirPort Extreme Card paved the way for seamless, fast, and reliable wireless connectivity.
AirPort Extreme Card Details
|January 7, 2003
|January 6, 2009
|Wireless Data Range
|Up to 54 Mbps
|150 ft. / 50 m (11 Mbps)
50 ft. / 15 m (54 Mbps)
|Radio Output Power
|Power over Ethernet
Further Reading and References
- Apple Delivers AirPort Extreme 802.11g Wireless Networking – Apple Newsroom
- AirPort – Wikipedia
- AirPort Extreme – Wikipedia
Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.
Last updated: February 13, 2024