Apple is reportedly set to launch AirTags or Apple Tags, its ultra-wideband trackers, sometime in 2020. The Cupertino giant will produce tens of millions of Apple Tags this year, predicts well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The Apple Tags are likely to work with the latest iPhone models to let users easily track and locate their everyday essentials. Apple is speculated to use its U1 locator chip on the rumoured Tags that are already a part of the iPhone 11 models. The company is also likely to build an augmented reality (AR) interface to intuitively help users locate their lost items.
The note shared by Ming-Chi Kuo mentions that the system-in-package (SiP) partners are expected to ramp up production of the ultra-wideband Apple Tags in the second or third quarter of this year, as reported by 9to5Mac. The analyst also predicts through the Tags, the iPhone maker would enhance AR applications.
As Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac notes, Apple is likely to unveil the Tags as its new product category at WWDC 2020 sometime in June -- ahead of making them available to the masses. The company has a good record of announcing its new products some time before officially launching them for the public to create enough hype in the market.
The Apple Tags, or what are also in the rumours as AirTags, are expected to work with the iPhone to enable location-tracking of lost items. The functionality of the new offering would be similar to how Bluetooth trackers from San Mateo, California-based Tile work to help users find their important belongings using a mobile app.
Having said that, Apple is likely to lock its tags into the existing ecosystem that already has the Apple Watch and AirPods as the two major accessories for the iPhone users.
Kuo in an earlier note forecast that Apple would bring its ultra-wideband tags sometime in the first half of 2020 -- alongside a new 4.7-inch LCD iPhone that could be the iPhone 9 or the iPhone SE 2 as well as a new iPad Pro, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, smaller wireless charging mat, and high-end Bluetooth headphones.
Last year, the iOS 13.2 package suggested the development of the new trackers with the name AirTag. The filesystem of the iOS version also included a video asset named “BatterySwap” that suggested a replaceable battery on the trackers.