Packaging Reveals Apple Was Preparing to Ship AirTags as Early as 2019

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.

AirTags from 2019 spotlit
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.

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Top Rated Comments

gsmornot Avatar
42 months ago
If AirPower ships, the package might have a 2018 on it.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NMBob Avatar
42 months ago
Everyone was stuck at home. No one needed to start finding anything until now.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HeavenDynamic Avatar
42 months ago
The label on my key ring box says it has been manufactured in August 2020.



Attachment Image
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pauloregan Avatar
42 months ago
I assume they were taken to court and had to build third party tracking into Find My.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
name99 Avatar
42 months ago

Everyone was stuck at home. No one needed to start finding anything until now.
OR
Apple wanted a critical mass of UWB-equipped phones before launch...

You only get one chance to launch, and you need the general opinion at launch to be "this is magic" not "wake me in two years when it actually works".
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
42 months ago
A certain version of airtags might have been ready. The scrutiny likely played some role but I wouldn’t be surprised if they waited for more U1 capable devices to be out there plus adding some new capabilities to have a stronger product at launch.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)