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AirTags were ready back in 2019, here’s why Apple may have delayed the launch

One of the major reasons for delay could be that not many iPhones had the U1 chipset back in 2019 so having a U1-based Bluetooth tracker in the market at that point may not have made much sense.

AirTags. AirTags.
AirTags. (Apple)

Apple AirTags might be one of the most anticipated devices by the company in years. The Bluetooth tracker has been rumored since 2019 but it was only until last month that we officially saw it launching in India and other markets. However, as ‘new’ as AirTags might be in the market, Apple apparently had them ready back in 2019 itself. And there seems to be proof of it.

One of the YouTubers named Daniel (@ZONEofTech) uploaded a couple of images on Twitter, showing the retail box of the AirTags. In the tweet, we see him stating that the AirTags box mentioned the year 2020 while the Leather Keyring accessory for AirTags mentioned the year 2019, which is also the same year we first started hearing about AirTags. All this resulted in him speculating that Apple might just be ready with AirTags in 2019. However, why the firm took so much time to launch it, is still a question.

But there are a couple of theories making rounds on the web. One of the major reasons could be that not many iPhones had the U1 chipset back in 2019 so having a U1-based Bluetooth tracker in the market at that point may not have made much sense. In 2019 only iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max came with U1 chipsets that use Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) tech for tracking location of AirTags. With iPhone 12 series in 2020, Apple may have thought that since there are six iPhone models in the market (of which iPhone 11 and 12 were the best selling devices), it might be the right time to bring AirTags.

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The second theory is that the iPhone maker didn’t want to tangle antitrust scrutiny in 2020. If your AirTags are lost, it can use several devices under the Find My network (including iPhones and Macs) to ping you the location. And the firm opened the network to third-party companies as well a few days before launching AirTags. Launching it earlier may have resulted in anti-competitive behaviour.

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