Tile CEO 'welcomes' AirTag competition from Apple's 'runaway monopoly train'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 4
CEO CJ Prober says that Apple has put Tile at a disadvantage both through direct AirTags competition, and changes to iOS that have made it appear that Tile is broken.

Tile
Tile


Following the release of Apple's AirTag tracking device, the CEO of its chief rival, Tile, has been telling Bloomberg TV how his company and its users have been put at a disadvantage.

"We welcome competition from Apple," said CJ Prober, "but we think it needs to be fair."

Prober said that when Apple launched its updated Find My app in 2019, it also "made a number of changes [that made it] very difficult for our customers to enable Tile."

He claimed that once users had installed and enabled Tile, there were also new changes to Apple's iOS notification system "that basically made it seem like Tile was broken."

"If you look at the history between Tile and Apple," says Prober, "we had a very symbiotic relationship. They sold Tile in their stores, we were highlighted in 2019 at their Worldwide Developers Conference."

"Basically [now] the main points of differentiation of AirTags vis a vis Tile, are [unique] to platform capabilities that we don't have access to," he said. "Seamless activation [is an example], and another is Ultra Wideband."

Prober says that Tile has been pressing to get developer access to Apple's U1 Ultra Wideband processor, "and have been denied."

"Apple does not need to take advantage of its monopoly position, the App Store and the iPhone, [or] enable advantages that only they can partake in," continued Prober. "They can make those [platform] advantages available to all companies so we can compete on a level playing field."

The future of Tile

Nonetheless, Prober claims that Tile is confident of its future. "The good news is that Tile is very well positioned, we've got a super differentiated product cross platform," he said. "We have many more factors, you don't need an accessory to attach it to your things, we're louder, we've got better range."

"So we have a lot going for us from a product perspective," he continued, "but we don't feel we should be competing in the way we are Apple. This is much broader than Tile, this is about long term consumer choice."

Tile is part of the Coalition for App Fairness, along with Spotify and many others, and has provided testimony to the current Apple versus Epic Games trial regarding the App Store.

"I would encourage listeners to go to the App Store Senate hearing," said Prober, "[and] read our testimony, read the testimony from Spotify. We should be competing fairly, with no excessive taxes on developers."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    SkepticalSkeptical Posts: 14member
    I have to agree a bit here with the Tile dude. After a few updates, my Tile were useless for the most part. And so I switched to the AirTags. Not impressed at all. I can hold the AirTag next to the phone and it tells me the signal is weak. WTF Apple. Anyway, maybe I’m holding it wrong. Tile has nothing to worry about if this is the best that Apple cans do. Queue the fanboy flamers…
    williamlondonchemengin1
  • Reply 2 of 42
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,012member
    Skeptical said:
    I have to agree a bit here with the Tile dude. After a few updates, my Tile were useless for the most part. And so I switched to the AirTags. Not impressed at all. I can hold the AirTag next to the phone and it tells me the signal is weak. WTF Apple. Anyway, maybe I’m holding it wrong. Tile has nothing to worry about if this is the best that Apple cans do. Queue the fanboy flamers…
    So you assume your experience is universal?
    tmaywilliamlondonboxcatcheromar moralesRayz2016DnykjpRfC6fnBspulseimagesBeatsigorskywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Skeptical said:
    I have to agree a bit here with the Tile dude. After a few updates, my Tile were useless for the most part. And so I switched to the AirTags. Not impressed at all. I can hold the AirTag next to the phone and it tells me the signal is weak. WTF Apple. Anyway, maybe I’m holding it wrong. Tile has nothing to worry about if this is the best that Apple cans do. Queue the fanboy flamers…
    Agreed, ordered a four pack and thoroughly unimpressed. Biggest issue is that it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do… track. And the sound is practically inaudible. Did they test it in a sound proof room!? I’ll be sending mine back.
    williamlondonpulseimages
  • Reply 4 of 42
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 423member
    Skeptical said:
    I have to agree a bit here with the Tile dude. After a few updates, my Tile were useless for the most part. And so I switched to the AirTags. Not impressed at all. I can hold the AirTag next to the phone and it tells me the signal is weak. WTF Apple. Anyway, maybe I’m holding it wrong. Tile has nothing to worry about if this is the best that Apple cans do. Queue the fanboy flamers…
    🤣
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 42
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 423member
    I gave up on Tile long before these claims being made by the CEO. So I can’t comment on if they have new issues now or not. But they had problems right from the start for me. They were useless when not near your own phone as very few people have the Tile app installed. 

    I find it funny that the Tile CEO says that the AirTags platform should be open to other companies. There were at least three other products announced before AirTags that work with the find my network. One of those products was even another tracking tag similar to Tile. 

    I’ve been using the AirTags for a couple of days now and so far they have been working far better than Tile ever did. No ones the CEO of Tile is so concerned and making all these crazy claims. 
    ravnorodomfred1pulseimagesBeatsigorskycitylightsapplewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 42
    Meanwhile…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zpK-GBOz9A

    I don’t have any Tile products (or AirTags) but I would like to see someone do this same thing with a Tile and see what the results are.
    fred1Rayz2016pulseimagesBobVB3
  • Reply 7 of 42
    "Basically [now] the main points of differentiation of AirTags vis a vis Tile, are [unique] to platform capabilities that we don't have access to," he said. "Seamless activation [is an example], and another is Ultra Wideband."

    Prober says that Tile has been pressing to get developer access to Apple's U1 Ultra Wideband processor, "and have been denied."

    "Apple does not need to take advantage of its monopoly position, the App Store and the iPhone, [or] enable advantages that only they can partake in," continued Prober. "They can make those [platform] advantages available to all companies so we can compete on a level playing field."
    Perhaps the CEO of a product that competes with AirTag is completely unaware of this:

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/04/07/apple-announces-find-my-network-for-third-party-accessories

    Here’s the quote I’m referring to from that linked article: “ Alongside the announcement of the program, Apple says it will be launching what it calls a draft specification for chipset manufacturers. Due out "later this spring," the specification will allow third-party firms to utilize the more precise location technology, Ultra-Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices.”

    If he is truly unaware he should be looking for new engineers.

    Chipolo also makes a competing product to Tile and AirTags. Where is all of the complaining about unfairness coming from Chipolo? I haven’t seen any. In fact, what I do see is Chipolo is making a product that explicitly works with Find My. Maybe this Tile guy should take a few pages from the Chipolo playbook instead of running to the government for help.
    genovelleRayz2016BobVB3roundaboutnowlolliverBeatsdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 42
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 649member
    Most of the Tile issues with iOS seem to be about nagging privacy notifications (in their words tile looks broken).  I can't tell if this is because iOS is doing something in software that can't be turned off (bad), but I don't get those for any other devices that are using location (HR and cycling monitors, AirTag...) or if Tile needs  to update their software.  I doubt it's permanent or un-tweakable.  
    BobVB3
  • Reply 9 of 42
    New trolls on arrival it appears, ffs. Go fuck off!

    First post, a negative one, did I take a wrong turn and end up back at MacRumors?
    WgkruegerDnykjpRfC6fnBspulseimagesbasjhjlolliverBeatsigorskywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 42
    etiquetteetiquette Posts: 3member
    Skeptical said:
    I have to agree a bit here with the Tile dude. After a few updates, my Tile were useless for the most part. And so I switched to the AirTags. Not impressed at all. I can hold the AirTag next to the phone and it tells me the signal is weak. WTF Apple. Anyway, maybe I’m holding it wrong. Tile has nothing to worry about if this is the best that Apple cans do. Queue the fanboy flamers…
    Agreed, ordered a four pack and thoroughly unimpressed. Biggest issue is that it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do… track. And the sound is practically inaudible. Did they test it in a sound proof room!? I’ll be sending mine back.
    By not tracking you mean that it doesn’t show a route on a map, or what?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 42
    XedXed Posts: 834member
    "Basically [now] the main points of differentiation of AirTags vis a vis Tile, are [unique] to platform capabilities that we don't have access to," he said. "Seamless activation [is an example], and another is Ultra Wideband."
    He's claiming they have no access to UWB even though that is not Apple's tech. 🤦‍♂️

    lolliverBeatsigorskywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 42
    etiquetteetiquette Posts: 3member
    Skeptical said:
    I have to agree a bit here with the Tile dude. After a few updates, my Tile were useless for the most part. And so I switched to the AirTags. Not impressed at all. I can hold the AirTag next to the phone and it tells me the signal is weak. WTF Apple. Anyway, maybe I’m holding it wrong. Tile has nothing to worry about if this is the best that Apple cans do. Queue the fanboy flamers…
    How exactly did they become useless? Are you talking about the occasional GPS popups whether you want to keep letting Tile or whatever access your location in the background? How often do you get them?

    I agree that there should be a “yeah it’s ok FOREVER” setting. But I really doubt it was done to kill Tile. Apple has a massive advantage in being able to build the finding network into the OS itself, so there is no need to “kill” anyone with stunts like that. 
    williamlondonlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 42
    KillBillOGKillBillOG Posts: 18member
    He’s done his company more damage than Apple, Tile was an OK product, used it since 2013, but my last one is in the trash. Runaway monopoly is a ridiculous statement and ignores the security and privacy that should be central to an OS company. Get lost Tile, I buy Apple precisely for being closer to a curated garden, I don’t need you to tell me I need a viper and trash filled swamp like Android—consumer choice was made not foisted.
    DnykjpRfC6fnBspulseimageswilliamlondonlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 42
    boxcatcherboxcatcher Posts: 217member
    I had a Tile … never needed it, gave me spurious alerts about forgetting my wallet, a year later prompted me to buy a new one because of the irreplaceable battery.  Got rid of my Tile.
    pulseimagesroundaboutnowwilliamlondonlolliverBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 42
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,131member
    I had a Tile … never needed it, gave me spurious alerts about forgetting my wallet, a year later prompted me to buy a new one because of the irreplaceable battery.  Got rid of my Tile.
    You would think they’d at least make it rechargeable. 
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 42
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,173member
    Skeptical said:
    I have to agree a bit here with the Tile dude. After a few updates, my Tile were useless for the most part. And so I switched to the AirTags. Not impressed at all. I can hold the AirTag next to the phone and it tells me the signal is weak. WTF Apple. Anyway, maybe I’m holding it wrong. Tile has nothing to worry about if this is the best that Apple cans do. Queue the fanboy flamers…

    I have seen and read multiple reviews of Airtags and have not seen the issue you mention? Is it impossible to think that maybe your Airtag isn't working correctly and may need to be swapped out for another unit? I mean shit happens even with Apple products.. no? Your "maybe I am holding it wrong" comment makes me think either you're trolling or you are commenting with an ax to grind for whatever reason?

    If it were me and a product didn't work I would either run to the Apple store to swap it out, or send it back for a replacement..period. Not coming on Appleinsider to make a blanket condemnation of a product because one unit isn't behaving correctly.
    roundaboutnowlolliverBeatsdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 42
    WgkruegerWgkrueger Posts: 286member
    Skeptical said:
    I have to agree a bit here with the Tile dude. After a few updates, my Tile were useless for the most part. And so I switched to the AirTags. Not impressed at all. I can hold the AirTag next to the phone and it tells me the signal is weak. WTF Apple. Anyway, maybe I’m holding it wrong. Tile has nothing to worry about if this is the best that Apple cans do. Queue the fanboy flamers…
    Some people are just not meant to use 21st century tech. I hear there are still flip phones for sale. 
    pulseimageswilliamlondonlolliverBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 42
    XedXed Posts: 834member
    genovelle said:
    I had a Tile … never needed it, gave me spurious alerts about forgetting my wallet, a year later prompted me to buy a new one because of the irreplaceable battery.  Got rid of my Tile.
    You would think they’d at least make it rechargeable. 
    Two of their products now have user replaceable batteries. Now if only they'd make a product with UWB and support the Find My service they may have a competitive product.
    lolliverBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 42
    One often tends to ignore statements like the Tile CEO's as just so much blather, but really, these increasing petty little shots from any number of these people acting like aggrieved and traumatized serfs living in fear of the landowner is getting rather tiresome. 
    robin huberlolliverBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 42
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,435member
    Bought Tiles when they first came out. Didn’t have changeable batteries so ended up trashing them and never looked back. Realize that’s no longer the case, but have no use for a company that would lead with that. Unlike AirPods, original Tiles were plenty big enough to have a replaceable battery. F them. 
    pulseimageslolliverwatto_cobra
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