iPhone Users Will Now Be Able To Track Down Their Gadgets Not Made By Apple

Apple Inc AAPL is now letting third-party companies use its “Find My” tracking network — and the first products to utilize the service, which includes an e-bike, are already here, according to a company statement.

What Happened: Apple said that hardware manufacturers can now add support for Find My to their products so as to help users track missing items as long as they follow Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) rules.

The third-party items that already support the tracking networking include VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SoundForm Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and Chipolo One Spot item finder. These items will be available beginning next week. 

All these items take advantage of the iPhone maker’s crowdsourced Bluetooth network made up of “hundreds of millions of Apple devices.”

Why It Matters: Apple also announced a draft specification for chipset manufacturers, to be released in spring.

The specification will allow third-party device makers to take advantage of Ultra-Wideband technology in U-1 chip equipped Apple devices, which will create “a more precise, directionally aware experience when nearby,” according to the Tim Cook-led company.

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant accidentally confirmed the existence of its long-rumored “AirTags” device trackers this month in a video. 
See Also: Apple's Rumored AR Headset To Feature Eye Tracking, Iris Recognition For Payments: Analyst

The now-deleted video sported a description which read, “Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular."

Price Action: Apple shares closed nearly 1.3% higher at $127.90 in Wednesday’s regular session and gained 0.39% in after-hours trading.

Posted In: NewsEventsTechconsumer electronicsiPhoneTim Cook