Will the iPhone 16 supporting a stylus put Apple on a ‘dead end’ for innovation?

There was a time when Apple’s relationship with the stylus or, pen was the equivalent of mankind’s with disease. Both shared no mutual benefit but Apple was absolutely adverse to having any connection with the stylus.

Steve Jobs, the then head of Apple, was famously opposed to the stylus. This sentiment was so known that he even posed the question ‘who wants a stylus?’ during the launch of the first-generation iPhone. Years have elapsed since then, and though Tim Cook in 2015 introduced the Apple Pencil – an exclusive perfect accessory for the iPad Pro, such a feature has never been thought of for the iPhone.

Interestingly, seventeen years later, Apple seems ready to include the stylus with the iPhone.

According to recent listings made public by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple has acquired a technological patent concerning the Apple Pencil. This patent applies not only to the iPhone but also to augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality applications, otherwise known as AR/VR/MR technology.

Pencil Patent

Image Source: Apple

Why has Apple made such a decision, seemingly contrary to its ethos? The answer could lie in Apple’s history with the stylus.

Though the iPhone owes its existence in part to the general discontent with Microsoft’s tablet with pen support, Apple’s relationship with the stylus goes far back. Apple’s first introduction to a pen-like object was in 1979, with the release of its graphics tablet (Apple Graphics Tablet) which had an attached stylus. Over the years, Apple produced prototypes and designs for multiple devices nearing the concept of a tablet, and these were all eventually tied to the use of a stylus. Now, with Apple’s new technological patent concerning the Apple Pencil, it is being speculated that the next iPhones might also support stylus usage, much like Samsung’s Note series and Huawei’s Mate series.

Could complete divergence from the screen finally liberate the Apple Pencil?

Technical Illustration

Image Source: Patently Apple

There’s no doubt that the future use of the patent could expand far beyond our imagination, but hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here — it’s essential to know the current market situation of smart styluses.

Will the smart stylus trend serve Apple’s future in the tech industry or be a futile pursuit? Only time will tell.

The pristine Razortech team will be at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the grand opening of which is just around the corner. Stay tuned!

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