Steve Jobs may have hated styluses, but there’s no denying that they’re useful for a variety of creative tablet tasks. Apple may be recognizing that now, however, with claims the Cupertino company’s rumored iPad Pro will ship with a stylus of its own.
“Given that it’s more precise than a person’s fingers, a stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases,” explained analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who has a good track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s plans, in a note to investors.
“Therefore, we believe Apple’s stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad.”
Jobs famously criticized the stylus during his unveiling of the original iPhone back in 2007. “Who wants a stylus?” he asked. “Nobody wants a stylus.” After the announcement of the original iPad two years later, Jobs said, “if you see a stylus, they blew it.”
But of course, that’s not necessarily true. While Apple’s iOS operating system has been built with fingertips in mind, there are all kinds of apps that require more precision. That’s why accessory manufacturers continue to make and sell iPad styluses to this day.
If Kuo’s prediction is accurate, it appears even Apple could be about to embrace that. But we shouldn’t expect anything fancy just yet; Kuo expects the iPad Pro’s stylus to be relatively basic at first, but it is likely to improve and gradually adopt new features over time.
Kuo suggests future iterations could include a gyroscope and other sensors that will deliver an improved “3D handwriting” experience. What’s more, the device could be used both on the iPad’s display directly, as well as on other flat surfaces or even in the air.
A stylus isn’t expected to drive sales of the iPad, but it could improve the user experience for a vast number of users, Kuo says. He also expects it to help Apple developer “specific customer groups such as the corporate sector and educational institutions.”