“If you’ve ever seen what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone, it’s really unbelievable,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook infamously said in a July, 2016 interview, during which he commended the capabilities of Apple’s iPad Pro-compatible stylus device. Interestingly enough, between then and now a number of additional iPad Pencil patents have made the rounds on Patently Apple, suggesting that Cupertino may in fact be working to develop a smaller, leaner version of the original Apple Pencil for use with future iPhone devices.
Now, according to the company’s latest round of patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this week, it appears we may be closer than ever before to an Apple Pencil-compatible iPhone. Apple’s patent No. 20170242499, titled, “Noise Correction for a Stylus Touch Device,” describes a touch stylus device like the Apple Pencil that would be capable of interfacing with smaller Apple devices like the iPhone. The patents specifically cover the active components of the stylus device, explaining how its inner-workings are designed to mitigate excessive noise, and to “enable a more accurate and precise detection of stylus positions” on the display.
One of the key talking points in Apple’s latest iPad Pro marketing campaign is that “The increased refresh rate of the new iPad Pro display makes Apple Pencil feel even more responsive and natural. No other digital pencil lets you write, mark up, and draw with such pixel-perfect precision.” Indeed, though the patents were originally filed with the USPTO back in February 2016, their publishing today lends a substantial amount of credence to the likelihood that Apple is working on a Pencil-like device for future iPhones, which we can reasonably expect to be proportionately smaller to match its canvas.
Of course, this is merely the latest in a string of patent publicity about a future Apple Pencil device; however with iPhones expected to gain a major bump in screen size come next year, we’d say the timing for a Galaxy Note-killing, Apple Pencil-capable iPhone is just right.