You may have to wait for an Apple AirTag 2 — here’s why

Close-up view of two Apple AirTags with the Apple logos partly visible.
(Image credit: Ink Drop/Shutterstock)

Apple is in no hurry to release its next-generation AirTag, according to a new report.

The tech giant has decided to hold off on a 2024 AirTag 2 launch due to a backlog of available inventory, among other issues, Bloomberg’s Apple reporter Mark Gurman is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the company’s plans. Instead, Apple is now planning to launch AirTag 2 sometime in 2025.

Gurman said that Apple “clearly over-produced” the first-generation AirTag, believing that the key finders would be far more popular than they are. Instead, Apple has found that its “retail store back rooms and Apple device storage warehouses are still full to the brim with AirTags,” Gurman writes.

There’s been a steady stream of reports in recent months about Apple's next-generation AirTag launch plans. 

Last year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would begin mass production on the AirTag 2 starting in the second half of 2024, with key features such as extended range coming to the tracking device. Kuo believes that sales rose to 35 million units in 2022 from 20 million the previous year.

But this past October, Kuo walked back his claims, saying that Apple had indeed pushed its AirTag 2 launch date to 2025.

Gurman’s report similarly acknowledged that Apple wants to deliver a better ultrawideband wireless chip in the AirTag 2 to allow for better and extended range, as well as improved compatibility with existing Apple hardware.

That chip will likely be the U2 ultra wideband chip Apple bundled in the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch 9. The U2 chip can help you find friends in crowded environments with its Precision Finding mode and offers better range. Since those key features are only compatible with U2-equipped hardware, it would make sense for U2 compatibility to come to the next-generation AirTags.

Despite that, Gurman’s sources also said that Apple believes the existing AirTags “still work fairly well and have most of the features you’d want,” suggesting U2 compatibility, while important, may not be a deal breaker. And then there’s that pesky issue of excess inventory.

Whatever the case, the evidence is mounting that Apple won’t have much to say about AirTag this year. And don’t expect the notoriously secretive Apple to talk about any AirTag plans until it's ready to announce the product's ship date.

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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.