Apple has been rumored to be launching an item tracker like Tile for months now, and it seems that the device can be named AirTag. 9to5Mac have seen AirTag references in the iOS 13.2 update sent to devices today, hinting that devices like Tile might even appear soon.
References to Apple's potential location tracking tags first appeared at the start of the iOS 13 beta code, and rumors suggested Apple would introduce the device along with the iPhone 11 at the event last month. Apple shows come and go without mentioning AirTag or features like Tile, but the instructions on iOS 13.2 could mean that Apple might be ready to uncover its hardware and tag features.
Apple surprised everyone with AirPods Pro earlier today, after rumors suggested this new noise canceling headphones would appear in late October. Apple can attract similar surprises for AirTag, or whatever the company is planning to call this device. 9to5Mac note that the AirTag reference on iOS 13.2 is enough to include placeholder images from AirPods, but Apple can remotely update these images.
Either way, if Apple introduces the AirTag accessory it will obviously compete directly with Tile. Location tracking companies have tried to embed the technology directly into Bluetooth chips recently, in an effort to go beyond tags. Tile has worked with Qualcomm, Dialog Semiconductor, Silicon Labs, and Toshiba to include Tile compatibility as an option on future chipsets. Tile also previously partnered with Boosted and Bose to embed a location tracking network into the company's gadget.