Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who is by-far, among the most reliable sources of news on the Cupertino giant, now claims that Universal Asahi Industrial — a Shanghai-based manufacturing company, has been asked to supply SiPs (System in Packages) for Apple’s upcoming ultra-wideband tracking tags aka ‘AirTags’ in Q2-Q3 of 2020.
Before I move on, a SiP or system-in-a-package is a way of bundling two or more integrated circuits inside a single package. This is in contrast to a system on a chip, or SoC, where the functions on those chips are integrated onto the same die.
As reported by 9To5Mac, Kuo expects AirTag shipments to reach tens of millions of units within 2020 alone. This leads us to believe that Apple doesn’t intend to launch its tracking tags until later this year, potentially alongside the iPhone 12.
As quoted in the report, Kuo said, “We believe that the ultra-wideband (UWB) tax will enhance the user experience of iOS’s ‘find’ and augmented reality applications by offering measurement functions in the short distance. We expect Huaxu to be the main supplier of SiP for UWB tags, with a supply ratio of approximately 60%.”
Kuo who’s an analyst at TF Securities had earlier said that ultra-wideband tags would be one of Apple’s major new hardware products in the first half of 2020. In case you’re wondering what’s so special about these tags, they are expected to operate much like Tile’s trackers but with the ability to pinpoint location more accurately thanks to ultra-wideband support.
We could end up seeing AirTags being unveiled at WWDC in June with a launch set for later this year, but yes, the iPhone 12 will likely be the company’s first mass-market product with a tracking chip inside it.