Apple's latest iOS developer preview "confirms" that AirTags are real and on the way

Apple's latest iOS developer preview "confirms" that AirTags are real and on the way
UPDATE: The Apple AirTags are now official, starting at $29. Pre-orders for the Apple AirTags start today!

Apple today released the first developer beta version of iOS 14.3 and it includes a new icon that appears to represent the Apple AirPods Studio headphones. These are over-ear headphones. Additionally, the developer beta of  iOS 14.3 also includes support for Apple's long-awaited AirTags item tracker. New videos and images surface that will help navigate a user through the setup process for the accessory. A hidden section in the Find My app is called "Hawkeye" and is meant not only for AirTags but also for third-party item trackers from rivals such as Tile.

The information found in Find my App guides allows users to setup their AirTags. While AirTags will use the U1 Ultra Wideband chip found inside the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 lines for accurate tracking, AirTags can also work offline using Bluetooth for tracking purposes.

Linking an AirTag to an Apple ID makes sure that no one else can use that particular tag. And as we've mentioned a few times, with "Lost Mode" enabled, an iPhone user can scan an AirTag connected to a found item and get the owner's phone number to call. Looking at it from a different way, "Once you enable Lost Mode, this phone number will be visible on an Apple website that others can access to contact you whenever they found your lost item."

If AirTags become a hit, they can be a surprising money maker for Apple.TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is expecting Apple to manufacture 10 millionAirTags this year. If  they are priced at the same $20 to $40 price range that the rival Tile trackers are, Apple could gross as much as $200 million to $400 million selling two different sizes of AirTags during its first year. The smaller size tags will be suitable for keys and key chains and other smaller items that you don't want to lose while the larger tags will be perfect for tracking a bicycle or a backpack. The AirTags will reportedlybe equipped with removable batteries.

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