People drill holes in AirTags to avoid accessories yet Apple sells a $450 luggage tag
After what felt like forever, AirTag is here. Or AirTags are here, depending on whether you're a fan of Apple's use of the singular AirTag. And so are the accessories. Accessories for hanging an AirTag off your luggage. Accessories for putting an AirTag on your keychain. That kind of thing, which is cool. But the problem a ton of people have is that you need one of those accessories to really use an AirTag.
See, item trackers from the likes of Tile have a hole in one corner so you can attach them to keys and whatnot. AirTags, not so much. In fact, some people are so against the idea of picking up an AirTag accessory – some of which cost as little as $10 – that they've taken a drill to their little white puck to make their own hole. That, to me, just seems a bit much. But maybe I just don't want to bork my new $29 piece of tech. But I do understand the frustration with Apple's design and if we're being cynical, its decision to go for profits and attach rate over good design.
Things get more difficult to swallow when you consider some of the accessories Apple sells. Apple invites you to "shop AirTag Hermès" which includes a $450 AirTag Hermès Luggage Tag (opens in new tab). That's A Lot Of Money no matter how you slice it.
Now, sure. Apple probably doesn't expect to sell many of those things and, hopefully, it won't. But it's difficult to think that there isn't some sort of disconnect between what Apple thinks AirTag buyers want, and what they actually want from their item tracker. Buyers do want to be able to put their AirTag onto their keys. They do not want to spend extra money to do it, whether that's $450 on a special leather whatsit or $5 on a cheap copy on eBay.
They just want to find their stuff. They don't want to buy accessories for their accessories.
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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.
Oh c'mon!! Frustrating design? It's a beautiful, space saving, clean design with no bloody hole for all the lot of applications no hole is needed. Put it in you wallet, a camera bag, a bicycle or the heel of you expensive, handmade leather shoes - all without any need of a hole but with the need of minimum space requirement. Well done Apple. And if you really need to have it dangling somewhere, there's more than enough cases for that.
I wouldn't say frustrating, but none of the use cases you mentioned would be deterred by a hole. Clearly a hole would have been possible without changing anything else. In the plastic part of the outside ring, it could even have been done maintain the IPx rating. Maybe AirTags II.
There were some number of people who had enough money, and were perfectly willing, to pay $10,000 for the horribly slow and non-functional initial Apple Watch model, so it is not surprising at all that there are also some of the same type of people who are able and perfectly willing to spend $450 for an Airtag holder. To each his own in a free market. There is no reason to ban the sale of such things and nothing illegal about selling them either. "A fool and his money are soon parted" comes to mind.
Hole drillers, Hermes tag buyers. Different markets.
Absolutely. But putting a hole in the thing from the outside wouldn't stop Hermes buyers from buying their $450 loops.