As Apple reportedly prepares its own AirTag item trackers for release as soon as this year, Tile is looking to differentiate its offerings. The company has introduced a new Premium Protect subscription service that reimburses you up to $1,000 per year if you’re unable to locate a lost item with your Tile tracker.
The Premium Protect subscription service runs $100 per year, and it essentially serves as another layer of protection against losing your items. Tile told Engadget that 90% of items marked as lost are able to be found through the Tile network, so this new Premium Protect service isn’t an indication that Tile item trackers aren’t useful:
The idea of this service might make you a little uneasy that the Tile tracker isn’t very reliable, but the company of course says that the Tile network is able to find 90 percent of items marked as lost. That still leaves around 10 percent that can’t be found (which the company says can be due to the tracker being out of range, or if the network isn’t dense enough in that area), which is what this additional protection service is for.
Premium Protect isn’t Tile’s first foray into the subscription service mark. Instead, it’s an upgrade of the existing $30 per year Premium plan. The Premium plan offers smart alerts, free battery replacements, extended location history, and more. Premium Protect adds in the additional $1,000 of peace of mind.
Tile isn’t oblivious to fact that Apple could very soon disrupt the item tracker market. Speaking to Engadget, Tile CEO CJ Prober emphasized that Tile item trackers are not proprietary and are system-agnostic:
“Tile is for everyone,” said Prober, when asked about Apple’s AirTags. “Our customers aren’t forced to choose a single platform and are advantaged by Tile being system-agnostic. We work with Android, Apple and other platforms people are already using and want to use to help find their lost stuff.” Prober added that he welcomes the competition, as long as it’s on a level playing field.
Tile is one of several companies that have levied antitrust complaints against Apple. iOS 14 attempts to ease some of Tile’s concerns by adding support for third-party accessories to the Find My app. With iOS 14, any tracking accessory maker can sign up to use Apple’s technology, allowing those accessories to be monitored by the Find My app.
TIle’s Premium Protect subscription service will arrive later this fall, the company says. Apple is rumored to be planning its AirTags release for as soon as later this year.