This nugget of information comes from Apple analyst and notable industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo who dropped the bombshell on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter). The AirTag 2 was supposed to be released by the end of 2023, but then that got pushed back to late 2024. Now, we're adding another year to the clock. Assuming this is all true, it means users are being forced to stick with an aging device as there will be a four-year gap between the original AirTags and the second generation.
It’s unknown why Apple is delaying the launch. The only other piece of news Kuo said on X is that the tech giant has scheduled mass production of the tracker for 2025. However, we believe a clue can be found in his August post.
A couple of months ago, Kuo claimed Apple wants to integrate AirTag 2 into a “spatial computing… ecosystem” with the “Vision Pro as the core”.
If you’re not familiar with the concept, spatial computing can be considered to be a more advanced version of augmented reality by combining virtual and physical worlds into a seamless, immersive experience. The Vision Pro headset gives people a way to interact with this digital environment. Somehow in some way, the AirTag 2 is supposed to be part of this space. MacRumors, in their report, postulates that maybe the tracker will send “positional information” to the headset via its ultra-wideband chip.
What this means for spatial computing is anyone’s guess. It’s possible the device could serve as a beacon to help the Vision Pro establish a virtual space. Or perhaps it may offer more precise tracking through an improved ultra-wideband chip. We can only speculate at this point.
It is worth mentioning that Vision Pro is scheduled for a 2024 launch. Once it comes out, we could see the AirTag 2 pop up soon after.
Future of trackers
If and when the AirTag 2 does release, Apple will need to bring its A-game because it is facing some stiff competition from rivals. A few weeks ago, Samsung launched the Galaxy SmartTag2 which features a massive battery life of up to 700 days plus a “compact, ring-shaped design to help you attach it to objects.” Google was supposed to debut its own tag during the Pixel 8 event, but it never materialized.
It’s possible Google is waiting for Apple to finally add unknown tracker alerts to iOS so it can roll out the overdue Android Find My Device network update. Once that’s done, it’ll move forward with the launch of the Google AirTag, as we call it. Hopefully, Apple doesn’t drag its feet and update iOS in two years to coincide with the AirTag 2.
While we have you check out TechRadar’s latest roundup of the best Apple AirTag deals for October 2023.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.