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.

Related Forum: AirTags

Top Rated Comments

gsmornot Avatar
10 months ago
If AirPower ships, the package might have a 2018 on it.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NMBob Avatar
10 months ago
Everyone was stuck at home. No one needed to start finding anything until now.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HeavenDynamic Avatar
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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)

Related Stories

maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple's New AirTags

Friday April 30, 2021 2:41 pm PDT by
After years of waiting for the AirTags to debut, launch day is finally upon us and AirTags are now in the hands of customers. We got our AirTags in the mail today and thought we'd share a hands-on look for those who are still waiting for their orders or debating whether AirTags might be useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. As you probably know by now, AirTags...
airtags spigen leather case 1

Spigen AirTags Accessory Listed Online for 'Late October' Release

Wednesday January 27, 2021 7:54 am PST by
A case accessory from Cyrill, a sub-brand of Spigen, for Apple's long-rumored AirTags has been listed online for pre-order with a shipping date of "late October." The storefront listing, spotted by iMore, is for a case accessory titled "Basic Leather - Black" and said to be "for AirTag." Listings for the same product in alternate colors have also been added to Amazon. The accessory is...
airtags drill 1

It's Possible to Drill a Hole Through an AirTag

Friday April 30, 2021 7:53 am PDT by
Unlike a Tile or some other item trackers, Apple's new AirTag does not have any holes or openings for attaching it directly to a keychain, forcing customers to purchase accessories like a leather key ring for this purpose. Interestingly, though, MacRumors forum member smythey has proven that it is possible to drill a hole into the AirTag without breaking it, allowing for a string or a thin...
tagvault

ElevationLab Launches 'TagVault' AirTag Holder

Friday April 30, 2021 9:52 am PDT by
ElevationLab today debuted the TagVault, which is the most protective AirTag holder that we've seen to date. Priced at $12.95 for one or $29.95 for a pack of three, the TagVault is a two piece AirTag holder that screws together to offer total protection for an AirTag. The two halves come apart, the AirTag is situated in the middle, and then four screws hold the TagVault together....
f1618938547

Apple Began Preparing for AirTag Regulatory Approval Nearly Two Years Ago

Friday April 23, 2021 1:59 pm PDT by
FCC filings for Apple's newly released AirTags have revealed that the Cupertino tech giant began regulatory testing and preparing to seek regulatory approval for the product nearly two years before they were officially announced. A series of documents submitted to the Federal Communications Commission indicate that AirTag underwent testing for official certification between July and...
AirTag and Lavender iPhone

AirTags and Purple iPhone 12 Models Start Arriving to Customers in New Zealand and Australia

Thursday April 29, 2021 2:05 pm PDT by
It's April 30, aka AirTags launch day, and customers who purchased AirTags or a purple iPhone 12 from Apple when orders went live last week are now beginning to receive their new devices. Apple fans in Australia and New Zealand are always the first to get their hands on new devices due to time zone differences, and are now sharing photos and first impressions on social media networks. @Mac ...
Apple airtag accessories bag 042021 big carousel

What to Know if You Plan to Travel Abroad With AirTags

Friday April 23, 2021 7:10 am PDT by
Apple's new AirTag item trackers are ideal for attaching to things like bags and luggage cases, which makes it likely they'll become popular with travelers and backpackers who want to keep tabs on their personal possessions abroad. For this reason, it's worth remembering which AirTag features work wherever you are, which ones depend on you being nearby the AirTag, and which functions aren't...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
appleprivacyad cleaned

iOS 15 Patched Security Hole That Potentially Exposed Users' Private Apple ID Information to Third-Party Apps

Thursday January 20, 2022 3:32 am PST by
Apple patched two significant security vulnerabilities when it released iOS 15 that could have potentially exposed users' private Apple ID information and in-app search history to malicious third-party apps and allowed apps to override user Privacy preferences, Apple has revealed in a recent support document update. With most iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates, Apple provides a list of...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...