Apple co-founder Steve Jobs didn’t like the idea of a stylus for mobile devices, famously decrying, “if you see a stylus, they [the developer] blew it.” The post-Jobs Apple may have a different view on the stylus, according to one analyst.
Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says Apple is likely to release a stylus in the spring to complement the long-rumored “iPad Pro,” a purported 12.9-inch slate. Kuo, who is reputed to have deep contacts within Apple’s supply chain, based his analysis on Apple’s patent filings and his own research, according to Apple Insider.
Why this matters: Although Kuo’s report is well within the “rumor zone,” an Apple-made stylus isn’t all that crazy and doesn’t seem impossible for even the 9.7-inch iPad. We’ve been reviewing styluses for Apple’s tablet for almost as long as there’s been an iPad. Clearly, there’s a desire among at least some users to put pen to glass. Also, the iPad has always been a popular device for the workplace, where greater amounts of handwriting or drawing may occur. The iPad’s popularity as a business device is poised to grow along with its computing power. Apple’s partnership with IBM to build enterprise-specific apps is also likely to increase the iPad’s presence in the corporate world.
Kuo says the first iteration of the Apple stylus will be a fairly standard writing and pointing implement that would be charged via a Lightning connector. Advanced features, like 3D handwriting using a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer, would come in future models, Kuo says. 3D handwriting would enable you to write in the air and have the data sent to the iPad.
Given that a stylus could jack up the price of the purported iPad Pro, Kuo expects the device to be an add-on at first. That could change in future models, however, especially if the developer community takes to creating iOS apps with the purported stylus in mind.
Believe it, or not?
It’s one thing for a respected analyst like Kuo to make an educated guess like this, and another for an Apple-made stylus actually to show up. But a stylus is already a sought-after accessory for the iPad, so why not?