Rumours that Apple has been working on a Bluetooth based tracker have been around for some months now. It was originally rumoured that Apple would announce the device alongside the iPhone 11 series of smartphones, but that launch came and went, with no mention of the said rumoured tracker. Thanks to a new support video shred by Apple themselves, the AirTags are all but confirmed.
Apple apparently uploaded a support video to their support YouTube channel on how to erase your iPhone, and in the section where they talk about resetting the device using a computer, that’s where the revelation came from. When you’re instructed to turn off ‘Find my iPhone,’ the video shows three options; Enabling/Disabling Find My iPhone, Enabling Offline Finding and Send Last Location. Under “Enable Offline Finding”, Apple mentions “Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular.” This last bit pretty much confirms not only that Apple has been working on a Bluetooth tracker, but also that its called AirTag. Turns out, Apple has leaked their own upcoming product.The mention was first caught by Appleosophy.
As of writing this story, Apple has taken the video down from their YouTube page. AirTags may not even be out yet, but they’re already kicking up some controversy for Apple. Tile, the company that popularized these little Bluetooth enabled coins, said that Apple has been anticompetitive. Tile accused Apple of changing rules and features so as to put Tile’s products at a disadvantage and giving their upcoming product an unfair leg up. Apple also stopped carrying Tile’s trackers globally in their stores, which Tile said was a move to hurt their business as Apple was planning to come out with its own AirTag.