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 a hold 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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