In August, alongside the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, the South Korean company explained how its SmartThings Find feature can locate compatible Galaxy products with greater accuracy. It is now being alleged that Samsung is using this software for a tag-like item tracker.
SamMobile spotted a new device with the name “Galaxy Smart Tag” and the model number EI-T5300 in Indonesian Telecom Certification filings. Based on the name, it is assumed that the product will integrate with Samsung’s SmartThings Find feature and offer location tracking.
The parallel to Apple’s rumored AirTags is striking. There has been an overwhelming amount of evidence, including extensive patent filings, design leaks, premature placement in Apple support materials, and iOS code, that Apple is preparing to launch an ultra-wideband item tracker. For some time, it has been believed that Apple is on the brink of announcing AirTags, but after repeatedly failing to appear leaks are now suggesting a March 2021 launch.
Samsung previously launched an LTE-enabled item tracker with GPS under its SmartThings brand in 2018, but it since appears to have been discontinued.
SamMobile suggests that Samsung could be looking to base its item tracking tag on ultra-wideband technology. AirTags are rumored to be based on the U1 ultra-wideband chip, which Apple is reportedly seeking to make the bedrock of its ecosystem.
If the speculation around Samsung’s filing is correct, item tracking appears to be set to become another front of direct competition between Samsung and Apple. After Apple’s push into consumer lending with Apple Card, earlier this year Samsung followed with Samsung Pay Card. Yesterday, it was reported that Samsung may be withholding patented periscope camera technology from Apple in order to maintain a competitive advantage with its Galaxy smartphones.