Rumor has it that Apple has been launching a Tile-like item tracker for months now, and it looks like the device could be called AirTag. 9to5Mac has spotted references to AirTag in the iOS 13.2 update sent to devices today, indicating that this Tile-like device may even appear very soon.
References to Apple's potential location tags first appeared in the early beta code of iOS 13 and rumors suggested that Apple would introduce the devices alongside the iPhone 11 during last month's event. That Apple event came and went without mentioning AirTag or other Tile-like features, but the hints in iOS 13.2 could mean that Apple might be ready to reveal its tag hardware and features.
Apple surprised everyone earlier today with AirPods Pro, after rumors suggested that this new noise-canceling headset would appear at the end of October. Apple could draw a similar surprise for AirTag, or whatever the company plans to call this device. 9to5Mac notes that the AirTag credentials in iOS 13.2 simply include temporary images from AirPods, but Apple can remotely update these images.
Anyway, if Apple introduces an AirTag accessory, it will clearly compete directly with Tile. The location tracking company recently tried to integrate its technology directly into Bluetooth chips, trying to go beyond the tags. Tile works with Qualcomm, Dialog Semiconductor, Silicon Labs and Toshiba to include Tile compatibility as an option on future chipsets. Tile previously also worked with Boosted and Bose to embed its location tracking network into the gadgets of the companies.