Apple’s item trackers have been in the news for a while. The company has been rumored to be working on a new item tracker device that lets users keep track of their items, and find them using iPhones.
We first heard about the device back in April 2019, but Apple is yet to make the product official. And now, according to a new report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac), the Apple item tracking device–possibly called the AirTag–will launch later this year.
Kuo states that Apple’s suppliers will ramp up production for the ultra-wideband chip that’s a key component of the AirTag in the second quarter of this year, hinting at a release for later in the year. It’s possible the new device could launch along with the next versions of the iPhone in September.
For those unfamiliar, here’s a recap of Apple’s AirTags: AirTag works with iOS’ Find My app, where you will be able to add whatever you want to track using the trackers. It’s a pretty simple idea, and it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Item trackers have been around for a while, so yes, Apple is very late to the game. There is a clever part, of course.
Apple’s AirTag uses the company’s new U1 ultra-wideband chip that’s on the iPhone 11 as well. The new U1 chip can allow other devices with the U1 chip to locate each other, so when your AirTag is attached to an item, your iPhone 11 will be able to tell you exactly where it is.
Still, until Apple actually makes the AirTags official, we just have to keep waiting. The product has been rumored for release in the past, and that obviously hasn’t happened yet, so that could happen once more.