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Apple AirTags price, release date, news and leaks

Apple AirTags price, release date, news and leaks
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple AirTags have been missing in action at three separate Apple events this fall. And while that might suggest we'll be waiting until 2021 to see Apple's long-rumored key finder, there's a chance the trackers could pop up next week.

Previously, leaks had suggested AirTags would be ready to launch alongside the iPhone 12 in October. But that event came and went without any AirTags appearance, as did November's Apple Silicon launch. Now the prevailing attitude from a leaker who's shared alleged Apple AirTags specs is that we should wait until March 2021 for the new device.

Now a new rumor suggests an Apple product is coming on Tuesday, Dec. 8 — and one of the candidates is Apple's AirTags. Here's everything we know about Apple AirTags in advance of their launch — whenever that may be.

Apple AirTags latest news and updates (Dec. 3)

(Image credit: Front Page Tech)

Apple AirTags: How they'll work

Apple's looking to challenge the Tile Pro to make the best key finder on the market, and it has a good chance if it works seamlessly with the company's ecosystem of devices.

Like other key finders, AirTags will attach to objects you want to keep track of, whether it's keys, computers, wallets and purses or something else valuable. The tracker then connects to your phone, so that you can find the location of any misplaced or missing items.

There's a key difference between current key finders and the AirTags Apple reportedly has in development. Most key finders connect to your phone via Bluetooth. But AirTags are rumored to be using the U1 Ultra Wideband sensor Apple added to last fall's iPhone 11 models and that will presumably come with the iPhone 12 models this year. That would give the AirTags better range and more accurate location tracking than conventional key finders.

It's widely assumed that AirTags would work with Find My, a built-in app on the iPhone that already lets you locate friends and Apple products, based on their location information.

A report from Josh Constine revealed more on how AirTags might work. While much of that report focused on a new augmented reality app called Gobi, apparently the AR capabilities will extend to the Find My app. Code shown to Constine indicates that you'll be able to hold up your iPhone and scan a room for AirTag-connected objects; you'll then get audio and haptic feedback based on your proximity to the thing you’re looking for.

Apple AirTags 2020 price

The Apple AirTags 2020 price hasn't been hinted at yet, but key finders usually cost less than $50. If Apple hopes to compete with the likes of Tile and Chipolo, we can expect AirTags to sell in that range, despite Apple's reputation for pricy accessories.

That said, we don't know how many features Apple plans to pack into its AirTags. Factors like a far range, distinct alarm sound, accurate alerts and flawless iOS integration could add value to AirTags. 

Apple AirTags 2020 release date

Apple AirTags

Apple AirTags will challenge top key finders such as the Tile Mate.  (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The first hint about AirTags dropped right before the iPhone 11 launch more than a year ago. Right before subsequent Apple events, rumors about the AirTags would pop up, but events like June's Worldwide Developer Conference and September's Apple Watch 6 launch came and went without an AirTags appearance.

Apple held three events this fall, launching new Apple Watches, the iPhone 12, and MacBooks powered by Apple's new M1 chip. At each event, someone suggested AirTags could debut, and each time, they failed to surface. That has many of us thinking that the AirTags will remain out of sight until at least March 21.

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However, a leaked internal AppleCare memo to service providers alerts them to AppleCare changes coming on Dec. 8. That has people speculating Apple could introduce new hardware on that day.

There's no shortage of options that Apple could roll out, from an updated Apple TV to the rumored AirPods Studio headphones. But AirTags would also be a possibility, if the key trackers are ready to roll out.

Apple AirTags video

As for proof that AirTags are on the way, an Apple video titled "How to erase your iPhone" (which has been removed after its original posting) refers to AirTags by name for just 2 seconds, yet Appleosophy spotted it around the 1:40 mark within the Find My iPhone settings. 

Beneath Enable Offline Finding, the onscreen device reads "Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular."

According to another video from Front Page Tech's Jon Prosser, Apple AirTags are circular and "just a tad larger than a bottle cap." The product features a clean white front and polished metal back with Apple's logo. 

Apple AirTags outlook

It's clear Apple has something in the works that will help iPhone users keep tabs on valuable items. It's just unclear when that product debuts.

That could be as soon as Tuesday, Dec. 8, if you believe that Apple will introduce new hardware on that day. But Apple typically reserves low-key product rollouts for updates of established offerings. AirTags would be the kind of new product that would benefit from launching at a special Apple Event, likely alongside some other high-profile Apple release.

We hope we're wrong, but we wouldn't expect AirTags to arrive until next year.