The new one requires a power cable. The point of the express was that it's entirely self contained. You could throw it in your bag and take it with you on trips. Now you can't.
So it's just a crippled airport extreme.
To be precise, they both required external power. The old model was integrated with the plug, and bore a design similar to Apple's laptop chargers.
The new model now requires a separate cable, but the power supply is still internal.
FWIW, the new unit is actually nice when you have to deal with those pesky power sockets at ground level (on skirting boards) that don't provide enough ground clearance to mount the old Airport Express/other chargers without an extension cable.
Like Apple's laptop chargers, the old Airport Express supported swappable outlet adapters which would let you plug it in with a longer wire, as well.
This one fits much nicer in a cupboard next to your AppleTV, and won't take up 2 or 3 sockets in an extension cord. It also makes the wiring easier, since you don't have to make sure your optical audio cable and ethernet cable can actually reach the power sockets.
Although I wish they could retain the old design, the extra LAN port and no more artificial 5 clients limit is more than welcome.
The only sticking point is perhaps that 2nd ethernet port, the Apple TV with the A4/A5 seem to use a separate ethernet chip made by SMSC connected to the processor via USB. As far as I know they don't support ethernet internally but they may not need to either.
Device type: general purpose
Running: Apple NetBSD 4.X
OS details: Apple AirPort Extreme WAP or Time Capsule NAS device (NetBSD 4.99)
Running: Wind River VxWorks
OS details: VxWorks
I really dislike reading articles like this on HN. It's upvoted because it looks like something new at first glance but has absolutely no data points and is idle speculation. When someone confirms whether or not it is an iOS device I'm interested, but until then, forget it.
Apple TV isn't marketed as an iOS device either, they go out of their way to call the firmware "Apple TV Software Updates". At one point the version numbers on the firmware were even different than the iOS version they were built on, it only matters internally.
An Apple TV with one more ethernet port would not only look almost identical, but it would be almost functionally identical as well to the point that an Apple TV could do the Aiport's job with the right software loaded.
They're also the same price already, we know they can sell this sort of hardware for $99 if they want to, and it would probably be even cheaper as it wouldn't need as much RAM, as much flash, a GPU or an HDMI port at all, nor would it need the infrared remote receiver.
They're now so similar in capability and form that Apple could probably save quite a bit of resources building them as different variations of the same common platform vs the old custom Airport platform that shares nothing in common.
They're already making a ton of the hardware necessary and it's already $99, margins are probably even higher here without the GPU and with a smaller amount of ram.
I have a portable router that is radically smaller and lighter than an appletv. It doesn't run iOS...
Sounds like a walking trademark lawsuit. IOS being a networking operating system and all.
IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.