Bluetooth tracking device company Tile isn’t pleased with the reveal of Apple’s new AirTag.
CJ Prober, Tile’s CEO, released a statement to TechCrunch where he says that while the company welcomes “fair competition,” he’s “skeptical” of Apple’s claims regarding opening up its ‘Find My’ network to third-party companies.
Below is the full statement Prober shared with TechCrunch:
“Our mission is to solve the everyday pain point of finding lost and misplaced things and we are flattered to see Apple, one of the most valuable companies in the world, enter and validate the category Tile pioneered.
The reason so many people turn to Tile to locate their lost or misplaced items is because of the differentiated value we offer our consumers. In addition to providing an industry leading set of features via our app that works with iOS and Android devices, our service is seamlessly integrated with all major voice assistants, including Alexa and Google. And with form factors for every use case and many different styles at affordable prices, there is a Tile for everyone.
Tile has also successfully partnered with top brands like HP, Intel, Skullcandy and fitbit to enable our finding technology in mass market consumer categories like laptops, earbuds and wearables. With over 30 partners, we look forward to extending the benefits of Tile to millions of customers and enabling an experience that helps you keep track of all your important belongings.
We welcome competition, as long as it is fair competition. Unfortunately, given Apple’s well-documented history of using its platform advantage to unfairly limit competition for its products, we’re skeptical. And given our prior history with Apple, we think it is entirely appropriate for Congress to take a closer look at Apple’s business practices specific to its entry into this category. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues further in front of Congress tomorrow.”
Apple recently opened up its Find My network of billions of Apple devices to third-party companies with the Find My Network accessory program. This allows devices like Belkin’s Soundform wireless earbuds, Chipolo’s One Spot Bluetooth tracker and VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes to leverage Apple’s third-party network of devices.
That said, given that Find My accessories can only operate within Apple’s own app and network, it’s unlikely Tile would want to give up its own crowd-sourced network of devices. It’s also worth noting that Apple is sending a very clear message to Tile by opting to work with one of its key competitors, Chipolo.
Tile has been viewed as the dominant player in the tracking device industry for years and likely has far more tracking devices in the wild than most of its competitors.
From Tile’s perspective, the company believes that despite opening its Find My network up to third-party companies, Apple will still give its own products a “platform advantage” and that it plans to “unfairly limit competition” in the process.
For more on Apple’s new AirTags, follow this link.