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There’s no doubt that Apple releases great products, but it’s also fair to say that the company has a history of charging premium prices for them. So, it’s not surprising that some have feared that Apple’s upcoming item tracking tags might end up being cost-prohibitive, but according to a new leak, the price of AirTags may not be as high as you think.
A new report from Max Weinbach on EverythingApplePro shares several new details about Apple’s latest yet-to-be-revealed product, including information from several retail sources that have pegged the price at around $39.
While that’s still higher than similar products like Samsung’s $29.99 Galaxy SmartTags or the $34.99 Tile Pro, it’s still fair to say it’s in the zone, especially in light of the additional features that AirTags are expected to bring to the table.
For example, AirTags will feature tight integration with Apple’s Find My app, likely including support for much more precise location, thanks to the U1 chip found in recent iPhone and Apple Watch models. Apple has opened up these features to third-party tracking tags, and we heard earlier this year that Tile is adding U1 to its tracking tags, it’s less clear if these companies are going to be willing to play by Apple’s rules to join up with Apple’s new Find My technology.
One Size Fits All
According to Weinbach, the AirTags will come in one size only, measuring 32mm x 32mm x 6mm, or about the same size as a half-dollar coin. This also puts them in the same size class as Samsung’s and Tile’s tags, although it quashes a previous rumour that AirTags could be coming in two sizes.
To be fair, it was never clear why Apple would need to release two different sizes of the tags in the first place, although the prevailing theory at the time was that perhaps the two versions would offer different battery and charging designs.
It’s more likely, however, that previous leakers simply saw two different prototypes, before Apple settled on a final design. Alternatively, one of these could represent an “AirTags Pro” or second-generation AirTags design that’s already in the works for some time further down the road.
Most sources agree that the AirTags will be circular white tags with an Apple logo on the front, and could be attached to items in various ways, such as sticking them on or via a keychain-style attachment ring.
When Are They Coming?
At this point, Apple’s AirTags have been rumoured as “coming soon” for so long that we’re almost afraid to get our hopes up. Multiple rumours suggested that they were ready to go last fall, but after three major Apple events came and went without a peep of any kind of item tracking technology, it became apparent that Apple was holding them back.
Part of this could have simply been the fact that the middle of a pandemic lockdown isn’t an optimal time to launch a product that’s designed to help you track items that you may have lost outside your home. However, it also seems likely that Apple has been waiting for at least one or two third-party products to get on board with its Find My Network to avoid unnecessary antitrust headaches.
In the grand scheme of Apple’s product lineup, AirTags are a relatively minor accessory. They add more value to the iPhone than anything else, which is something that third-party tracking tags can also do if they play nicely with Apple’s Find My app. With Tile already making a lot of noise about AirTags — even to the point of calling for an antitrust probe — it understandably makes no sense for Apple to whack the hornet’s nest of antitrust regulators over a $39 accessory that will likely be little more than a “hobby-level” side business.
Still, the preponderance of more accurate leaks that have been surfacing recently — including alleged pricing from the retail side of things — suggests that the launch of AirTags is now merely a few weeks away. Fairly reliable leakers had pegged a March launch as far back as last year, but while a rumoured March 23 event actually never happened, there are reliable reports that Apple has an April event in the works.
Then there’s also the fact that recent iOS 14.5 betas have unveiled the previously hidden Find My Items screens, implying that AirTags will likely land around the same time iOS 14.5 gets released to the public, which should also be some time in the next few weeks.