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Oppo working on its own AirTags-like tracker with rechargeable battery

Unlike most other trackers in the market, Oppo Smart Tags may come with a rechargeable battery with a USB-C port.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | April 23, 2021 | Updated 09:20 IST

Highlights

  • Oppo is said to be working on its own tracking system.
  • It may be called Oppo Smart Tag and use the ultra wideband tech.
  • Apple's AirTags use the same UWB technology inside.

The next shiny thing that is luring tech companies is a tracking device, and it looks like Oppo is ready to jump into the fray. According to leaked images of what looks like a tracker, Oppo may soon launch its rival to the Apple AirTags. And this rival will use the same ultra-wideband (UWB) technology that Apple uses on its newly launched tracking device. But while Oppo is trying to emulate AirTags, its upcoming tracker may have a trick up its sleeve. Oppo's Smart Tag -- that is what they are calling it right now -- will have a rechargeable battery.

Let us talk about the rechargeability of the Oppo's tag first. Nearly all other trackers in the market use non-removable or non-rechargeable coin batteries inside that last for mostly long durations. But Oppo's upcoming Smart Tag will not require you to replace batteries as often. For that, there seems to be a USB-C port at the bottom of the tracker, per the leaked images coming from China through Weibo and shared by XDA Developers. With that in mind, Oppo's tracking device is expected to last much longer, reducing its environmental impact in the course. But right now, we do not know much about battery life.

The leak suggests Oppo will use the ultra-wideband (UWB) technology on its tracking device, which makes it a direct competitor to the Apple AirTags. The UWB tech will allow Oppo phones and devices to spot these tags more quickly and easily than the regular Bluetooth technology that Tile has been using for many years. Since Oppo seems to be thinking of the UWB technology, let us talk about how many devices it has in the market.

Globally, Oppo had a market share of 9 per cent at the end of 2020, according to Counterpoint Research data. In India, 10 per cent of total smartphone shipments were from Oppo in the fourth quarter of 2020. And these numbers are good enough for Oppo to get convinced about the UWB technology. But there are a few things that Oppo will need to consider, and one of them is how popular its phones are in a particular market. If a certain market has only a handful of Oppo phones, even though elsewhere the numbers are good, Oppo's tracking device may not be very successful.

And besides, much like Apple's Find My app, Oppo will have to launch its own app for the tracking of this device. Oppo is also using Bluetooth technology on its upcoming tracking device.

Right now, the details of Oppo's AirTags rival are very slim but leaked images paint a bright picture. And what we are going to witness in the coming days is a tussle between tech companies over who can track your wallet or your car keys in the best way there is.

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