We finally know when Apple may release a second-gen AirTag

Person holding an Apple AirTag.

It’s been three years since Apple last released the AirTag, and we’re finally seeing our first rumors about a second generation of the tracker. According to Bloomberg, Apple is preparing a new AirTag, currently codenamed B589, and is conducting tests with manufacturing partners in Asia.

This AirTag 2 isn’t expected to arrive until mid-2025, so there’s still quite a bit of time before we get concrete information. This timeline for the AirTag second-gen aligns with the news last year from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who reported that mass production of the AirTag 2 was delayed until 2025. Kuo expected production to start in the fourth quarter of 2024 for a 2025 launch.

Despite the launch still being far out, there are a few changes we can reasonably expect. The first and most obvious upgrade is improved range and location tracking with a better chip. Currently, the AirTag range tops out around 30 feet if you have an iPhone 11 using Ultra Wideband. Even increasing this range by another 10 or 15 feet could add a lot of extra utility in tracking down lost objects.

We’re also hoping for improved battery life, though ideally, it’ll still be replaceable (unlike the Tile Mate), and Apple will continue to use standard CR2032 batteries. Another big ask we’ve seen is a louder ring for lost items, as well as some variations in form factor, like the Tile Slim, which fits nicely in wallets, or the Tile Sticker, a compact tracker that can be attached to bikes, remotes, and luggage (we use ours for the Steam Deck).

It could also be nice to see Apple follow Tile’s example and offer item reimbursement, perhaps as part of AppleCare+. However, unlike Tile, Apple isn’t likely to offer coverage for non-Apple devices. On the other hand, Apple is proactively attempting to address the possible privacy and stalking implications of trackers like these. The iOS 17.5 update came with built-in detection features for iPhone owners to detect third-party trackers, including AirTags, following a partnership Apple inked with Google in 2023.

If the AirTag 2 is in the pipeline, it will compete against other trackers like the Samsung SmartTag 2, the Tile Pro and Tile Mate, and the Eufy SmartTrack Link. Other companies like Chipolo and Pebblebee have also entered the market offering AirTag alternatives. Meanwhile, Google has been steadily updating its Find My Device network for Android phones, offering the same crowd-sourced network as Apple’s Find My and Tile’s Find with Life 360.

In any case, we’re still almost a year away from when you’ll likely be able to buy the AirTag 2, but we expect that we’ll have more reliable information about features and improvements closer to the end of the year.