iFixit Tears Down Apple's AirTag, Finds a Great Spot For a Keychain Hole
Monday May 3, 2021. 11:30 PM , from Slashdot
iFixit has ripped apart Apple's recently-released AirTag, a small battery-powered tag that will allow you to track your items within Apple's 'Find My' app on iOS. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from an Ars Technica article: Like with most Apple products, it looks like some serious engineering went into the $29 tracker. The device is barely larger than the user-replaceable CR2032 battery that powers it, putting competing devices like the Tile and Samsung Galaxy SmartTags to shame with their comparative bulk. Inside, a single circuit board uses a unique donut-shaped design that crams all the components into a ring under the battery. The hole in the middle of the circuit board lets Apple pack in a surprisingly huge voice coil speaker. The speaker is just for playing ringtones so you can find your AirTagged thing when you lose it, but apparently, the ringtones will be super high quality.
The other very Apple-like quality of the AirTag is that it almost seems designed to sell accessories. The most popular use for these trackers is to help find your car keys, but out of the box, there is no way to attach a keychain to an AirTag. Instead, Apple has enabled a wide ecosystem of AirTag cases ranging from a $13 keyring holder to a $449 (yes, that's four hundred forty-nine dollars) Hermes' luggage tag. iFixit's solution to the much-demanded keyring hole is -- what else -- a power drill! The teardown experts found some suitable dead space inside the AirTag that somehow isn't blocked by either the battery, speaker, or circuit board, and after some careful drilling, iFixit's AirTag now has a keychain hole with the least possible bulk. 'The AirTag survived the operation like a champ and works as if nothing happened,' the site says. iFixit went on to note that the sound profile 'didn't seem to change much,' but the IP67 dust and water resistance rating is now greatly compromised.
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