Don't expect an AirTag 2 announcement any time soon with Apple Stores 'full to the brim' with the current model

AirTag on keychain
(Image credit: Future)

Apple's AirTag is undoubtedly one of the best item trackers on the market right now, and it's backed up by the Find My network which makes all the difference. But it's been around for coming up to three years in its current iteration which means that the obvious question is now being asked — when is the AirTag 2 going to be announced?

That's something that now seems unlikely to happen any time soon despite that being previous reports that the AirTag 2 could be linked to the arrival of the Vision Pro headset. That didn't happen and the new headset will go on sale next month with no mention whatsoever of Apple's little wallet-finder. We can safely say that there is no current link between the two products, but it now seems unlikely that we will see any update to the AirTag for some time yet.

That's after a new report suggested that Apple has no imminent plans to update the AirTag, partially because there is little need to. With the AirTag proving to be popular as-is, and with no breakthrough technology available that would greatly increase its capabilities, the current model is just fine. The report also notes that Apple appears to have gotten itself into a bit of an unusual stock situation, too.

'Full to the brim'

Writing in his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman was answering a question about Apple's plans for when the next AirTag might be unveiled. He said that Apple is currently in "no rush" to ship a refreshed version of the tracker, adding that there is little reason to — the current model still has the features buyers want which means there is no driving force for a refresh.

However, Gurman did add an interesting comment that might suggest that AirTags aren't selling quite as quickly as Apple would have liked. When discussing the number of AirTags stocked by Apple Stores, he hinted that they have more than enough of them lying around. 

“Apple retail store back rooms and Apple device storage warehouses are still full to the brim with AirTags,” Gurman says, which might mean that the AirTag isn't selling as speedily as anticipated. However, it's also possible that pricing is an issue here — third-party retailers often run discounts on single and multiple AirTags, something Apple doesn't do. With that in mind many could choose to buy their tracker from elsewhere, leaving Apple's stock rooms overflowing with the accessory.

An unnecessary upgrade today

Above all, however, it's difficult to say how Apple could update the AirTag in such a way that would make upgrading worthwhile. One possible change would be an upgraded ultra-wideband chip, but the model used today is sufficient for the way Apple markets the AirTag. What's more, only the iPhone 15, Apple Watch Ultra 2, and Apple Watch Series 9 would benefit from such an upgrade anyway.

With that in mind, it's likely Apple would prefer to wait until more devices with updated ultra-wideband technology are in use, ensuring a better experience from any updated AirTag.

Gurman isn't the first to suggest a new AirTag isn't a focus for Apple. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that 2025 is the most likely timeframe for a refreshed item tracker, taking 2024 out of the equation entirely. Interestingly, he said that the AirTag 2 had been "postponed," suggesting there was a plan for a 2024 launch at some point.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.