Apple will reportedly release an upgraded, second-generation version of the Apple Pencil alongside new iPad Pro models this year, according to a new rumor.
The so-called “Apple Pencil 2” will feature a magnetic system that will allow it to attach to the side of an iPad or iPad Pro — temporarily fixing the issue of where to keep the Pencil when it’s not in use, Letem Svetem Applem reported on Wednesday. The Czech Apple news site cited Chinese supply chain sources from the microblogging platform Weibo.
In addition to a magnetic attachment system, Letem Svetem Applem’s Wednesday report also claimed that the Apple Pencil 2 will feature a pen clip — like an ordinary pen — allowing it to be clipped to a shirt or pocket. A pen clip would, obviously, also help the Apple Pencil 2 keep from rolling around a desk or other surface.
This report does line up with a patent Apple acquired in September. That patent covers a permanent magnetic system that could allow an Apple Pencil to attach to the side of an iPad, or for two iPads to be attached together. Of course, Apple patents a lot of features that never make it to an actual product. Third-party manufacturers have also released similar attachment systems, but an Apple-produced design is likely to integrate better with a Smart Cover or other Apple accessories.
Similarly, Bloomberg reported back in August 2016 that Cupertino is planning other features for a next-gen Apple Pencil, including the ability to annotate objects in apps across iOS, including Mail, Safari and iMessage.
The first Apple Pencil was launched alongside the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in fall 2015. Since then, it has been widely lauded for its design, ease-of-use, and low latency, 9to5Mac reported. Some have complained about where to keep the peripheral when it’s not in use — a problem that a first-party magnetic system would fix.
Apple is expected to release three iPad models this spring, including a rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro with minimal bezels and no home button. That iPad Pro model would blend the resolution of the 12.9-inch model with the high pixel density of the iPad mini.