Excellent write-up! I concur that the price point of these “designer name” devices will continue to keep 80% of the population renting their premise router & modem combo devices from Comcast et al. That, plus the fact that 192.168.0.1 is completely intimidating for more than 80% of the population. Admin on an app will help. But, not trivial for most. Perhaps these mesh router companies will be able to grow the market and take some share away from the 80% who rent from the ISP’s and are used to the lifestyle of “set it [wifi network] once and forget it about it.”
The SON (self organizing networks) and RRM (radio resource management) capabilities coupled with the cloud stored user profiles and usage rules is the benefit of the cloud WiFi experience. The network functions virtualization (NFV) of taking the router’s intelligence of the box and in the cloud for control-plane and data-plane management are obvious. How to do this without asking people to rent a router for $10 per month or shell out $300–500 upfront is the challenge — IMHO.