Apple May Be Bringing Back A Classic Internet Device

A new filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has come to light, revealing the news that Apple has been working on (and been granted approval for) a new network adapter. It may seem a bit odd, especially given that Apple discontinued its AirPort routers back in 2018, but the device (coded as A2657 by the FCC) appears to be running on iOS 15.5.

Apple has also filed for confidentiality of schematics, specifications, and photographs of the device that it wants to maintain for at least six more months, so we probably won't be seeing in-depth details for some time yet. We just know that Apple is working on it, and that the details are going to be hush-hush until at least November 15, 2022.

For now it seems like the FCC will just keep putting the device through its paces in an ongoing battery of tests — all of which it's documented on the official filing page.

What can it do?

There are a few facts we can still glean from the documentation, however. Specifics like output watts and frequency tolerance haven't been detailed yet (possibly due to Apple's NDA, or possibly because those elements haven't been officially tested yet). However, it does show the new network adapter's tested frequency range and power output (thus far) under a variety of testing conditions.

But one testing report, in particular, does reveal a few significant hardware details. The report explains that the device will have an integral battery and contains two-gigabit ethernet ports, along with a USB-C connector and an antenna of some kind. It comes with 32GB worth of internal storage and 1.5GB of RAM and can support IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi standard radio, Bluetooth radio, and NFC signals. It's also designed to be connected to a host computer via a USB-A port, which is where it draws its power from.

As for when we can expect Apple to reveal this new device, how much it'll cost, and when it will be available, that all remains to be seen. Hopefully, more information will come out once the NDA lifts in late 2022.