Apple AirTags trackers may debut alongside iPhone 12 in September

iPhone 11
The iPhone 11. (Image credit: Future)

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new tracker product that will take on the Tile Pro to be the best key finder on the market. And now we’ve got a better idea of when the big reveal will be.

The source is the ever-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who says that production of ultra-wide band chips for Apple is going to be significantly increasing in the second or third quarter of 2020 (that’s between April and September).

As reported by 9to5 Mac, Kuo doesn’t say exactly what these chips are to be used for, but it’s very likely that these chips will be for object tracking. Ultra-wide band signals can travel a short distance without requiring a lot of power to transmit them, which makes them perfect for finding objects.

Considering the timeframe for production, it’s reasonable to expect that the AirTags will be unveiled at Apple’s typical September event when it reveals its latest iPhone, which this year will be the iPhone 12. There is a small chance the AirTags will be shown off at WWDC in June, although this tends to be more focussed on apps and operating system updates rather than products.

The AirTags are believed to work with Apple’s Find My app, since this app was where the existence of the tags was first found. You’ll be able to use it to hunt for lost items like keys and bags, like Tile’s tags do, but you’ll also be able to find other people’s AirTag-attached items using your own iPhone 11 or other iPhone with Apple’s U1 chip. Plus, you’ll be able to use an AR mode that displays where the tag is in the immediate area once you get close.

You’ll need at least an iPhone 11 to make the most of the AirTags, though it will also work with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.