The new owners of tracking company Tile say that sales are down, and stock value has fallen, because of the stalking issues that Apple's AirTags have raised.
Life360 acquired the Tile company in November 2021 in a deal worth $205 million. It was shortly afterwards reported to be selling individual users' precise location data, though it says it has since stopped.
Now according to Financial Review, its founder and CEO Chris Hull has reported that the anti-stalking attention focused on Apple's AirTags has affected Tile sales.
"We're watching the privacy concerns relating to Apple AirTags and stalking risks," he said in an investors' call. "The scrutiny Apple is facing in the press is moderating growth of the category overall."
"This may be a headwind for standalone hardware sales until the situation resolves and the category is able to more fully emerge," he continued. "That's slowed things down, so it's a wait and see moment."
Likfe360 has yet to roll out its own anti-stalking technologies for the Tile product.
Hull says that the new attention on tracking as an industry could slow down its hardware revenue growth. He confirmed that Tile's sales numbers are already affected.
The CEO said this was also due in part to the global chip shortage. "Clearly, we'd prefer to be less supply constrained," he said, "because it would enable us to capitalise on the second part of our bet with Tile."
Hull said that this "second part" was to do with how hardware sales are not the business's main driver. While he reportedly did not refer to Life360's selling of location data, he was clear that Tile hardware is hoped to drive software and membership signups.
"We're going to do everything we can to prioritise membership over direct hardware sales," he said.
Separately, Apple has introduced further anti-stalking features to the latest beta of iOS 15.4.