Tile trackers aren't new. They've been around for years and have been leading the market. Owners seem to love them. They're convenient because you can attach them to bags, keys or other items, and then see where they are on a map on your phone.
Like AirTag, Tile trackers don't use GPS. Instead, they rely on a network of other Tile devices that communicate with each other over Bluetooth. So, the more Tile devices there are out there, the greater your chances that someone with a Tile passes by yours and alerts your phone of your lost item's location. Tile has sold more than 35 million devices, not including products from more than 30 partners with its technology built-in, which make up its network that spans 195 countries.
Apple's AirTag is similar, except it taps into not only other AirTags but also Apple's existing network of iPhones and Macs, which is nearing a billion devices. That gives Apple an advantage over Tile from the get-go, since it has a bigger network at launch, even if lots of people don't buy an AirTag.