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This AirTag competitor just did something Apple never will

A "perfectly imperfect" Chipolo tracker.

What happens to item trackers with cosmetic flaws? For Chipolo, the answer may surprise you. At CES 2024, the Apple AirTag competitor is introducing a limited-edition run of its popular item trackers that just so happen to have some flaw — such as a blemish, scratch, or nick. Each accessory works as intended from a technology standpoint, with each marked “perfectly imperfect.”

Per Chipolo: “In a world that frequently underscores the pursuit of perfection, Chipolo’s campaign challenges those conventional societal expectations that demand flawless perfection from individuals. Each of these exclusive Chipolos, though bearing minor cosmetic flaws, functions seamlessly — highlighting the notion that what we perceive as ‘defects’ often go unnoticed by others, yet they can become pronounced in our minds as we focus on them and even magnify them.”

Chipolo is releasing 10,000 of these imperfect Chipolo Card Spot trackers as part of a limited-edition run.

Chipolo Card Spot in black.

Chipolo is a well-known provider of Bluetooth tracking devices that help people locate their personal belongings, such as keys, bags, backpacks, wallets, and more. The company offers two primary tracking products: the Chipolo One and Chipolo Card, which are designed to cater to different customer needs.

The Chipolo One is a compact tracking device that resembles Apple’s AirTags. It’s a small circular device that can be attached to items like keys, bags, backpacks, or other frequently misplaced items. This device connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, enabling you to track the location of your item using the Chipolo app. The Chipolo One is available in various bright colors to match your style. It was one of our favorite Bluetooth trackers of the past year.

A "perfectly imperfect" Chipolo tracker.

On the other hand, the Chipolo Card is a slender, credit card-sized tracking device that fits easily into your pocket or wallet. It’s designed to be discreet and low-profile, making it an ideal tracking device for people who want to keep their belongings safe without attracting attention. The device has a built-in battery that lasts up to a year and can be easily replaced once the battery runs out. Chipolo Cards are available in white and black.

The Chipolo One and Chipolo Card are user-friendly and easy to set up. You just need to download the Chipolo app on your smartphone, pair it with your device, and you’re ready to go. The app allows you to ring your device when lost, view its location on a map, and even receive notifications after leaving your item behind.

The limited-edition “perfectly imperfect” Chipolo Card Spot trackers will be available starting January 9 from the Chipolo website, in addition to “select independent and department retail stores.” The Chipolo Card normally retails for $30, though it’s unclear if the limited edition models will cost the same.

Perhaps Apple should consider offering slightly blemished AirTags at a lower price point, similar to what Chipolo is doing with its limited-edition trackers. This could be an opportunity for Apple to appeal to a wider market and offer more affordable options to its customers. Assuming that doesn’t happen, which it likely won’t, Chipolo has a nice edge over Apple here.

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Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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