Apple Inc. launched a new accessory called AirTag that will find physical items like bags, wallets and keys, entering a market with competitors including Tile Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.
The accessory, announced Tuesday at Apple’s product event, looks like a small white-and metal puck and can attach to a key chain by way of a leather sleeve with a clip. The company said it would sell an individual AirTag for US$29 or in packs of four for US$99. The gadget will be available April 30, Apple said. The accessory will work with an updated version of the Find My app on all of the company’s major devices, adding third-party items to Apple’s service for tracking the location of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and other products.
AirTags have been in development at the Cupertino, California-based technology giant for more than two years and have been reported on by Bloomberg News multiple times. The company had intended to introduce the item-tracking gadget last year around the time of the iPhone 12 launch, but delayed the release, Bloomberg has previously reported.
For an unannounced product, the AirTag has been quite controversial. The device has given smaller companies antitrust fodder against the iPhone maker. Tile, which has made a similar accessory for years, has filed antitrust complaints about Apple’s Find My app and the perceived advantage Apple would give its own upcoming product.
Earlier this month, Apple opened its Find My app to third-party devices. It’s also allowing the makers of third-party devices, such as bicycles and headphones, to integrate location chips to be found by the Find My app without additional hardware.
Samsung has been selling versions of its own physical item tracker. Sales of AirTags would likely be included in Apple’s growing segment of Wearables, Home, and Accessories, which generated more than US$30 billion in the fiscal year ended in September.