Only hours after Apple introduced its anticipated AirTags tracking product, Tile has fired off a jab at the company, stating that it welcomes competition “as long as it is fair competition.” Tile’s statement comes just ahead of the company’s testimony in front of Congress on Wednesday, with it noting that it plans to ask lawmakers to “take a closer look at Apple’s business practices” related to the item tracking category.
It has been known for a while that Apple planned to launch its own tracking device, one that will compete with Tile and the market it says it “pioneered.” The AirTag will hit the market on April 30, offering Apple’s customers a $29 accessory that works with the company’s Find My app to keep track of their possessions.
Tile offers similar devices that can be used to keep track of everything from your earbuds to your luggage. The company detailed its brand partners like Skullcandy and HP, as well as its support for both iOS and Android, as part of its statement about Apple’s new competing product.
Apple’s AirTag will offer many of the same capabilities, tossing ultra-wideband tech into the mix, while leveraging its vast network of iPhone users and its Find My app to help its customers find their lost items. This ultimately presents a major competitor to Tile, which has its own network for locating tracked items.
This won’t be the first time Tile has gone before Congress to complain about Apple’s entrance into the tracking market. Tile had previously expressed concerns about Apple and its tracking plans, citing everything from changes introduced in iOS 13 to concerns that Apple may leverage alleged “structural inequities” to “hinder competition and limit consumer choice.”
In the company’s latest statement, Tile CEO CJ Prober said:
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.