JF Matin, lamenting the product that could have been had Apple not ceded the home networking market to Google and Amazon:

Apple should have created the successor of the AirPort Extreme but for mesh networks. Let’s call it for now, iDevice. They we’re close to this concept with their AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express devices. The latter was even equiped with a head phone jack to plug speakers in. The iDevice could have included internal storage (at least as an option) in order to offer basic NAS storage for the familly (or at least act has a caching device to iCloud storage) and Time Capsule support. Plus, Apple could have created wireless speakers that would have been tied to the base product. The iDevice could have played the role of the HomeKit bridge and respond to Siri requests from the wireless speakers (just like the Siri Remote is able to send requests wirelessly to the Apple TV). The combinaison of all these features could have become an ecosystem by itself, a new platform. Configuration would have been done via the (or a seperate app for more advanced feature configuration like firewall rules or internet content filtering.

Yes, that does sound great, and I would probably buy it if it existed.

The problem is that the number of people like Matin and me is likely way to small for Apple to make any money on such a product. Home networking with multiple devices is tricky, to say nothing of throwing local network-attached storage into the mix. In my experience, most people can’t be bothered with it.

Amazon and Google want this market because they can use it to collect data on their customers in order to show them advertising and sell them more stuff. If Apple’s claims regarding their respect for their customers’ privacy is to be believed, then they want no part of that.