In a rather curious move for Apple, it appears that the Cupertino company has hired 20-25 engineers recently laid of by networking company Cisco – the question remains as to what Apple is going to do with them.
The report comes to us from Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhury. Chowdhury notes that the likely reason for the layoffs is increased pressure from Aruba, HP and Huawei, who continue to challenge Cisco by offering much cheaper pricing on their own networking gear, as well as adding free support and lifetime warranties to the package.
It seems curious that Apple would be so interested in hiring Cisco’s laid-off network engineers – unless they are planning something? Rumors have been surfacing of possible A5-powered AirPort Extremes and Time Capsules.
Further, both Time Capsules and AirPort Extremes with attached hard drives have often had trouble with slow file transfers – a concern that has often been commented on in forums and support communities. In addition, Apple’s AirPort Extremes and Time Capsules have always been missing a feature called Quality-of-Service (QoS) that can limit bandwidth of individual connected users, and also assign higher or lower bandwidth priorities for certain tasks.
Could Apple be working on a serious revamp to their high-end consumer networking products (despite having recently silently refreshed both of these products)? Perhaps Apple is tapping into the expertise of these former Cisco engineers to bring features from Cisco routers, including QoS, to their own networking products? While nobody knows these answers for sure, it’s certainly an interesting prospect to consider.