iFixit tears down Apple’s AirTag, finds a great spot for a keychain hole

Apple recently jumped into the thing-tracking market with the AirTag, a small coin-cell battery-powered Bluetooth device that you can attach to your stuff and ping with your smartphone. The device started shipping Friday, so of course, gadget teardown site iFixit has gotten ahold of one and ripped it apart—and then took a power drill to it?!

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. For comparison, the Tile and Samsung trackers both use cheap little piezoelectric speakers for ringtone playback, which iFixit rightfully points out would be right at home in a “McDonald’s Happy Meal toy.” This speaker is just for acoustic location, so anything that will make a shrill noise will work—Apple is just being extra here.

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