In his January 2007 Macworld keynote, Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs made it resoundingly clear that he’s no fan of the modern stylus. In fact, while unveiling his company’s iPhone — the first smartphone device in its class to boast 10-finger multi-touch input — Jobs famously quipped: “Who wants a stylus? You have to get ’em, put ’em away, you lose ’em. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus.”
However it’s worth noting that the tech space has changed dramatically over the years, especially in the last few, during which we’ve seen the launch of many advanced and wildly-popular, stylus-capable devices — from Samsung’s Galaxy Note, to Apple’s proprietary Pencil device for its larger iPad Pro models, and more.
And so, it comes as little surprise that as the modern stylus continues in its rebound to fandom, a new report published this week by South Korean publication, The Investor, is claiming that Apple has its engineers working on an all-new, stylus-capable iPhone device, which could debut by as early as 2019, according to the report.
“Apple is preparing to launch the phone as early as 2019,” an industry source told The Investor, while adding that “It is also in talks with a couple of stylus makers for a partnership.”
Sources, speaking to The Investor on condition of anonymity, cited that Apple is currently in talks with several different stylus-makers in the Far East — however in terms of technology, the company is more likely to settle on “supercapacitor” stylus tech, which would be capable of advanced “planned handwriting” input, as opposed to the more mainstream EMR (electro-magnetic resonance) technology.
While the report is unfortunately limited on details, this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard that Apple is working on an iPhone capable of stylus input. Reports about the company’s interest in building an iPhone to compete with the likes of Samsung’s popular Galaxy Note phablet have been circulating for a while now, in fact.
However what’s particularly interesting about these more recent rumors is that they come at time time when iPhone’s display is getting bigger by the year — and will apparently continue getting bigger from here on out — which gives Apple a ton of options for taking advantage of those larger screens.
Engineers are going to have to re-envision the current Apple Pencil, shrinking it down to be smaller and lighter, like Samsung’s S-Pen. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what Cupertino comes up with.