Apple preps second-gen AirTag tracker tag with AR capabilities

Apple preps second-generation AirTag tracker with AR capabilities


Car thieves can hide an AirTag somewhere on your car and track it for theft later.
An improved follow-up to the AirTag item tracker is in development.
Photo: York Regional Police

The Apple AirTag item tracker sells well enough that an updated version is in early development, according to a reputable analyst. And it might include the AR capabilities that were rumored years ago.

The tiny tracker has reportedly been selling by the millions since the product launch in 2021.

AirTag 2 is coming to you

Attach an AirTag to an item you either misplace frequently, or to something that you’d be very upset if you lost. Popular choices are keys, purses and AirPods, but there are myriad possibilities.

The item tracker was apparently an experiment — the company wasn’t sure how popular it would be. Turns out, it’s very popular. Apple hasn’t revealed how many units it’s sold to date, but Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with TF International Securities, says that 20 million shipped in 2021 and 35 million shipped in 2022.

And now a follow-up is in development. Kuo said Wednesday, “AirTag 2 will likely go to mass production in 4Q24.”

A Vision Pro tie-in

Years before AirTag hit the market, code found in iOS 13 indicated that Apple intended to use augmented reality to make finding lost items easier. Leaks hinted at virtual balloons that could be placed in the real world to pinpoint an item’s location on an iPhone.

But the AR tool for AirTag never emerged. So far. But now Kuo predicts that AirTag 2 will be able to work with Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro AR headset.

“I believe that spatial computing is a new ecosystem that Apple wants to build, using Vision Pro as the core to integrate other devices, including AirTag 2,” said the analyst.

However, Kuo was not able to leak information on other changes to expect in the second generation of Apple’s item tracker.

The sources for his info on upcoming products are in Apple’s supply chain — the companies that make components for iPhone, Mac, AirPods, etc. Apparently, Apple has begun to talk with them about supplying parts for AirTag 2.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.