Apple unveiled plenty of new hardware this week, but the new iPad Pro, iMac, and Apple TV are refreshes of existing products in Apple’s lineup. The only exception is the AirTag, Apple’s first brand new product since the first-gen AirPods. Apple’s tracker works just like similar smartphone-connected devices from competitors, helping you find missing items from afar. However, AirTag has a significant advantage over the likes of Tile and Chipolo, and that’s the vast network of iPhones circulating out in the wild that act as beacons that can bounce off the Bluetooth signal of a lost AirTagged object.
AirTag preorders officially opened on Friday, and the tracker is already selling out, with shipping dates slipping well past the April 30th release date. However, there’s a great trick you might want to try to ensure that your first AirTag, or batch of AirTags, arrives on time next week.
Head over to the AirTag preorder page, and you’ll find two purchase options. A single unit costs $29, while a pack of four sells for $99. The latter is the better choice, as you’ll save some money in the process. You can only link up to 16 AirTags to your Apple ID, so that should be the maximum number of trackers you buy.
Regardless of which option you choose, you will get free no-contact delivery and a free personal engraving with every purchase. These are the typical perks you’d get from other Apple products. Engraving your AirPods might be cute, but it’s not necessarily practical. On the other hand, engraving AirTags could be useful. The AirTags have no distinctive features except for their unique serial numbers. And you need to manage each individual tag from iPhone or iPad. Placing a distinctive element on the AirTag, like a word, number, emoji, or a combination thereof, can help you tell AirTags apart and recognize yours at a glance without having to go through the app.
However, if you decide to engrave your AirTags while preordering, you won’t get them on April 30th. Delivery times slipped back to June 1st for both one-pack and four-pack options if you choose engraving during checkout at the time of writing. Delivery dates might slip further if people keep buying them. Engraved AirTags can’t be ordered with in-store pickup either.
Remove the engravings, and you can buy your AirTags with in-store delivery and get your bundle next week. Choose home delivery and the one-pack or four-pack AirTags will ship to your door by May 5th, according to estimates at the time of writing. It’s up to you to decide how fast you want your AirTags. Personalized AirTags might be more fun and easier to tell apart, but you’ll have to wait more than a month to get them. Skip engraving and choose in-store pick up, and you can still buy AirTags that can be used next Friday.