AirTags, until their official announcement earlier this month, had remained one of the most rumored Apple products of the last few years. Initial reports about an Apple item tracker began to surface in 2019, and in the entirety of the two years that followed, AirTags’ release seemed to be constantly imminent.
Last week, FCC filings revealed that Apple began seeking regulatory approval and certification for AirTags in 2019, with testing taking place in the second half of the year. Now, as AirTags have begun to arrive to customers worldwide, new evidence is reaffirming that AirTags have been ready to launch for a considerable amount of time.
Images of paperwork included inside the box for Apple’s Keyring AirTag accessory shared on Twitter by Apple YouTuber ZONEofTECH show the year “2019” listed for regulatory and trademark purposes. However, on the AirTags box itself, the year 2020 is listed. Both writings clearly indicate that Apple could have announced and shipped AirTags as early as possibly 2019, but it was inclined not to do so until two years later.
While not for certain, Apple’s decision to delay AirTags release could have been related to the scrutiny the company faced and continues to face on accusations of anti-competitive behavior from competing item-tracker maker Tile. AirTags became available for pre-order last week and cost $29 each or $99 for a pack of four.