MacRumors is citing low stocks of Airport Express base stations as suggesting that a faster 802.11ac model is expected soon to match the capabilities of the latest Macs. This would offer wifi speeds almost three times faster than current 802.11n models, a capability that has already been incorporated into the current Airport Extreme and Time Capsule models.

We’re also hearing similar whispers about constrained supplies of iMacs, alongside price-cuts by resellers … 


We’ll pause here to issue our standard caution that stock levels are a notoriously poor indicator of product refreshes. Parts availability and yield rates can result in temporary shortages as we’ve already seen with the Thunderbolt Display several times throughout this year, each of them prompting rumors of a new model that has yet to appear.

That said, an 802.11ac Airport Express and a Haswell-powered iMac is  a no-brainer, the question being when rather than if. The new iMac is unlikely to see much of a design change, so neither would be big announcements, suggesting they could be passing mentions in the iPhone-focused event on 10th September. If not, then we’d expect to see them announced alongside the iPad 5, rumored to be around October, perhaps with that long-awaited Thunderbolt Display update.

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