What's Up With Apple: More AirTag Stalking, Personal Finance Management and More

In yet another high-profile incident, Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) AirTags have reportedly been used to track someone who is not the owner of the device. Brooks Nader, who has modeled for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, told her 800,000 Instagram followers last week that someone put an AirTag into her coat pocket while she was at a bar in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. Several hours later, Nader received a notification that someone had been tracking her “for a while … I freaked out, obviously, and then, of course, my phone died.”

AirTags were released last April and reports of stalking began almost immediately. Moreover, an Australian commission warned in June that the AirTags batteries could be a choking hazard for small children.

Apple’s tracker detector for iPhone and a recently released version for Android-based phones notify the phone’s owner if a tracking device has been moving along with the person for more than 10 minutes. The detector also plays a sound on the tracker to help people locate it. Lucas Matney at TechCrunch wrote Monday morning, “I highly doubt that Apple is going to be able to design their way out of this problem.”

Apple might be better served to spend more time (and money) on integrating financial management services into its product ecosystem. So says Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his weekly newsletter.

While Apple Pay is the most-used mobile payment system in the United States, Apple Card needs to be beefed up, launching it in other countries, boosting the appeal of the card by offering better rewards, fixing the application procedure for the Card, making Apple Wallet an “all-encompassing financial experience” and pivoting the Apple Cash Card into “a true debit card.”

Gurman also commented on last week’s announcement from Sony that it is establishing a mobility division to explore launching an electric vehicle. He noted that he thinks “having a car in the product portfolio of technology companies will be a certainty by 2030.” In that vein, he also said he is looking forward to seeing a prototype EV from Apple, something “the company is hoping to start discussing publicly as early as 2025.” Early?

Briefly noted:

Apple’s main chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (aka, TSMC) reported December 2021 revenue Monday morning of $5.62 billion, an increase of 4.8% month over month and 32.4% compared to December of 2020. For all of 2021, TSMC reported sales of $57.38 billion, an increase of 18.5% compared to 2020.

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