Apple Is Releasing Special Edition AirTags and Beats Studio Buds to Celebrate the New Year

Beats Studio Pro Year of the Tiger Edition Credit: Beats
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China, Japan, and several other Asian countries will soon be celebrating the Year of the Tiger, and Apple is inviting itself to the party as usual with two new special edition products and some promotions.

In Japan, which celebrates the New Year from January 1–3, Apple is offering up a limited-edition AirTag, featuring an exclusive white tiger emoji. However, it turns out you won’t be able to buy this one outright. Instead, Apple is only giving it away with the purchase of certain iPhone models — and it’s only doing so for the first 20,000 customers who buy one on January 2–3, 2022.

So, in this case, when Apple says, “limited edition,” it really means it. The tiger-emblazoned AirTag will only come with the purchase of an iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, or iPhone SE. The newest iPhone 13 models are notably excluded from the promotion. Oddly, it would appear that purchases made in the Apple Store app don’t qualify either.

However, Apple will also be giving away gift cards during those days, and purchases made in the Apple Store app do qualify for those. The exact value of the gift cards varies with the product purchased, with the 27-inch iMac getting the maximum value of 24,000 yen (~$210), while an iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, or iPhone SE getting a 6,000-yen card (~$52), and an iPad Pro, 13-inch MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, or Mac mini all qualify for a 12,000-yen card (~$105).

As usual, Apple’s newest products are mostly excluded from these promotions. You won’t get a gift card with any iPhone 13 models, nor the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

Essentially, this is just the Japanese version of Apple’s North American Black Friday promotions, although the limited edition AirTag certainly offers a bit of extra flair to the event.

Special Edition Beats Studio Buds

Apple has also announced a special edition of its Beats Studio Buds coming out on January 1, 2022 to more broadly commemorate the Year of the Tiger in China and other Asian countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, which lands on February 1, 2022 this time around.

Beats announced the new version of its Studio Buds on Instagram, describing them as featuring “an all-red design with gold tiger print accents.” There’s no word on pricing or international availability, but the standard Beats Studio Buds currently sell for $149, so these will likely come in at the same price.

Functionally, the new Beats Studio Buds aren’t expected to be any different from the version that’s available now; as with prior limited-edition products, it’s only the design that differs.

Beats Studio Buds were originally released in black, white, and red, although in November, it also collaborated with Union to release its first special edition version. The new Year of the Tiger Studios Buds follow in the footsteps of those earlier ones, suggesting that Apple is going to use that particular Beats product to get more creative than it typically does with its AirPods (which is to say, not at all).

Notably, the Union edition sold for the same $149 price tag as the standard single-colour-tone models, so it’s a pretty safe bet that these new ones will be priced the same.

The Beats Studio Buds are an interesting alternative to AirPods for folks who are seeking something more fashionable, and they also boast an unprecedented level of compatibility with Android smartphones as well. Beats Studio Buds support similar fast pairing features on Android as the AirPods do for iPhone users, along with battery status, and even Find My-style location information in Android’s Bluetooth settings. They also feature Active Noise Cancellation — for about $100 less than Apple’s AirPods Pro. By most reports, it’s not quite as robust, but at least it’s there.

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