Remember the latest update for Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme? It was a little less than we imagined, right? The good old rumor industry that makes us believe in things we shouldn't: 1, 2.
However, according to tests carried out by Brian Klug for the AnandTech, the new hardware has improved (and a lot!) in performance and reach. See the graphs below:
Although the look of the products themselves has not been altered in any way, a look at these graphs shows that things have improved a lot.
According to the tests, the new AirPort Extreme dramatically improves throughput in regions where the signal was previously unusable. According to Brian, before a MacBook Pro 2010 (not the base machine for this test) could not connect to location 4, and now, in addition to connecting, it is capable of working at 23Mbps (11Mbps unless a 2011 MBP).
The main improvements with AFS happen at the extremes where previously the signal was unusable at 2.4GHz and at 5GHz. This shows the difference in the WLAN solution from the fifth generation to the fourth generation.
The new AirPort Extreme has a chip from the manufacturer Broadcom, while the previous generation has a chip from Marvell. This ended up bringing two great benefits: first, as we have seen, performance and reach, “normal” benefits since Apple exchanged a chip from an old generation (from a few years ago) for a new one. The second benefit directly related to Apple's business model (vertical integration strategy): it uses Broadcom chips in several products such as iPhone, iPad, MacBooks and iMacs. This certainly facilitates the "conversation" between these hardware (some aggregation technique that speeds things up in some scenarios), which in practice turns into gains.
Another example of how having complete control of hardware / software can actually result in some benefit in this case, more speed and range. Now, due to these internal changes, we can only hope that the products will not take long to be approved by Anatel.