Tile Unhappy With Apple's AirTag Launch, 'Skeptical' About Fair Competition and Plans to Tattle to Congress
Just hours after Apple unveiled its long-awaited AirTag, Tile CEO CJ Prober released a statement expressing his concerns about competition in the item tracking arena.
As relayed by TechCrunch, Prober said that while Tile welcomes "fair competition," the company is "skeptical" about Apple's aims, given its "history of using platform advantage to unfairly limit competition."
Tile plans to ask congress to take a look at Apple's business practices specific to Find My and competition with other item tracking options. The full statement is below:
Our mission is to solve the everyday pain point of finding lost and misplaced things and we are flattered to see Apple, one of the most valuable companies in the world, enter and validate the category Tile pioneered.
The reason so many people turn to Tile to locate their lost or misplaced items is because of the differentiated value we offer our consumers. In addition to providing an industry leading set of features via our app that works with iOS and Android devices, our service is seamlessly integrated with all major voice assistants, including Alexa and Google. And with form factors for every use case and many different styles at affordable prices, there is a Tile for everyone.
Tile has also successfully partnered with top brands like HP, Intel, Skullcandy and fitbit to enable our finding technology in mass market consumer categories like laptops, earbuds and wearables. With over 30 partners, we look forward to extending the benefits of Tile to millions of customers and enabling an experience that helps you keep track of all your important belongings.
We welcome competition, as long as it is fair competition. Unfortunately, given Apple's well-documented history of using its platform advantage to unfairly limit competition for its products, we're skeptical. And given our prior history with Apple, we think it is entirely appropriate for Congress to take a closer look at Apple's business practices specific to its entry into this category. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues further in front of Congress tomorrow.
To avoid complaints like the one that Tile is going to make to congress, Apple waited to unveil the AirTag until it had launched the Find My Network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party item trackers to integrate into the Find My app right alongside AirTags.
Third-party accessory makers can build Find My tracking into their Bluetooth devices, with U1 chip support coming in the near future. If desired, Tile could create item tracking tags designed to integrate with the Find My app, but Tile has its own established accessory finding network already.
Find My accessories can only operate with the Find My app, and it is unlikely that Tile will want to give up its customer base to create a Find My tag that works with Apple devices alone. Tile believes that just by releasing an item tracker, Apple will be able to dominate the market because of its first-party advantage.
Apple's AirTags are set to be available for order on April 23, with a launch coming on April 30.