Do AirTags Use A SIM Card? (Solved)

Since their release, people have been using AirTags to track and find all sorts of stuff like keys, wallets, luggage, pets, and much more.

If you’re new to AirTags, or perhaps considering buying some, one question you might be curious about is, do AirTags use a SIM card? Fear not, because I have the answer in this article.

AirTags don’t need a SIM card since they don’t use a cellular or mobile network service to send their location.

In this article, I explore topics like how does an AirTag work, do they need a SIM card, how do they get a signal, and much more.

image of a woman holding a cell phone SIM card over an Apple AirTag and a title that reads do AirTags use a SIM card
AirTags don’t use or need a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card.

Do AirTags Need A SIM Card?

AirTags don’t need a SIM card. Instead, they send out a secure Bluetooth signal that other nearby Apple devices in the Find My network can detect to send their location.

image of an Apple AirTag and its location displayed on the Find My app on an iPhone
Track an AirTag’s location in the Find My app.

All this Bluetooth communication happens in an anonymous and encrypted way without the use of any SIM card. Additionally, an AirTag doesn’t have any need for a cellular service when it comes to displaying an AirTag’s location within the Find My app either. 

As well as Bluetooth, an AirTag can also leverage Ultra Wideband technology to pinpoint its location within a tenth of an inch. An AirTag uses the Apple-designed U1 chip to enable Precision Finding, providing users with spacial and directional information to help lead them to the AirTag.

Pack of 4 Apple AirTags

Single Apple AirTag

How Do AirTags Get A Signal?

AirTags rely on three antennas to get a signal. A Bluetooth Low Energy 2.4GHz antenna, an NFC 13.56MHz antenna, and an Ultra Wideband 6.5-8GHz antenna.

image of AirTag Precision Finding screens
On supported devices, Precision Finding will lead you straight to an AirTag.

An AirTag uses Bluetooth to connect to nearby Apple devices in the Find My network. The Apple devices then send the AirTag’s location to iCloud, where it can be tracked within the Find My app. An AirTag’s Bluetooth frequency operates at 2.4GHz.

If your Apple device supports Precision Finding, it will lead you straight to your AirTag. Precision Finding uses Ultra Wideband technology to provide spacial and directional information on supported Apple devices. An AirTag’s Ultra Wideband frequency operates at 6.5-8GHz.

One last point to note on an AirTag’s signal. When placed into Lost Mode, anyone with an NFC-capable smartphone can read the contact information by tapping the AirTag. A pretty handy feature if your missing AirTag is found by someone else. An AirTag’s NFC frequency operates at 13.56MHz.

Do AirTags Need A Data Plan?

AirTags don’t need a data plan because they rely on Bluetooth to communicate with other Apple devices in the Find My network to send tracking data to Apple’s cloud service, iCloud. 

Now that you know AirTags don’t need a data plan, you’ll also be encouraged to learn that AirTags don’t have a monthly fee either. So you might be thinking, what’s the catch?

Well, AirTags use the Find My network, which is home to hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices around the world, this is why AirTags don’t need a SIM card, don’t need a data plan, and have no monthly fees to use them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, I have answered all of your questions on, do AirTags use a SIM card. However, you may still have other questions surrounding Apple AirTags. If you do, below, I answer some common frequently asked questions.

How do AirTags communicate?

AirTags communicate using Bluetooth, Ultra Wideband and NFC.

How small is an AirTag?

An AirTag measures 1.26 inches (31.9 mm) in diameter and 0.31 inches (8.0 mm) in height.

Do AirTags need cell service?

AirTags do not need cell service but do need to connect to an Apple device that’s in the Find My network.

Do AirTags need internet?

AirTags don’t need an internet connection to track the location of stuff.

Final Thoughts On Do AirTags Use A SIM Card

So, in conclusion. Do AirTags use a SIM card? No. AirTags don’t need or use a SIM card to broadcast their location. AirTags don’t rely on any cellular or mobile network and have no need for a SIM card. Instead, they rely on other Apple devices that are part of the Apple Find My network. With hundreds of millions of Apple devices around the world, it won’t take too long for your AirTag’s location to pop up.

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