The Apple ‘Tag’ – a hardware device to help keep track of items, has been rumored for a while. Now it appears that Apple is buying Google adverts related to existing rival Tile in order to get a sense of the market.
Buying ‘Tile’ Ads, Assessing The Market
According to the Washington Post, Apple has been buying Google adverts for “tile app” and related search terms. Searching for the phrase brings up an advert for the Tile iOS app. Crucially, it also potentially provides Apple with data about the state of the market for such products. Interestingly, Apple also reportedly bought adverts for Netflix and All Trails.
Tile trackers are no longer available for purchase in Apple Stores. Apple has also added offline device tracking in iOS, a popular feature of the rival product. Third-party apps such as Tile are no-longer allowed to ask users to allow always-on location tracking when users first set up an app. Apple argues this is a provision to protect user privacy. However, it is one of the issues that caused lawmakers to raise anti-competition concerns.