Just recently, new patents started rumors that the iPhone 8 would be launching with Apple Pencil. Now, it appears we should be speaking in plural terms because it looks like two Apple Pencils could be coming in the future.
Of course, the Apple Pencil is already an existing product that works only with the iPad Pro. However, there have been a few hints that other Apple products might get Apple Pencil support. Tim Cook himself somewhat let the cat out of the bag with this quote not too long ago:
If you’ve ever seen what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone, it’s really unbelievable.
His quote would suggest that he has seen the Apple Pencil, or a new version of the Apple Pencil, working on an iPhone. He also didn’t specify iPad Pro in his quote. Maybe he misspoke. Or, maybe Tim Cook gave us a peek behind the curtain and and opportunity to see some of Apple’s future plans.
Now, we have new patents discovered, once again, by Patently Apple. These patent drawings reveal some new features that may be coming to Apple Pencil and also appear to show different sizes of Apple Pencils. This further supports the fact that we may see Apple Pencil support in the iPhone 9. A smaller Apple Pencil would also be great for users of an iPad Mini. However, size isn’t everything. There are new features to discuss as well.
Before I dive too deep into predictions, I must point out that these are simply patent drawings. Apple files plenty of patents that never see the light of day in a finished consumer product. Just because these patent drawings exist doesn’t mean that these features will ever be available to use. Now that I have my little disclaimer out of the way, let’s continue.
It appears Apple is working on a feature that is able to alert users about when they should replace the tip on their Apple Pencils. We also see that the notification drawing clearly appears on an iPhone rather than an iPad Pro. Apple obviously wants the Apple Pencil to offer the best performance possible and they’re hoping that a detection method for Apple Pencil tip wear can help achieve this.
So, will we get to see these new Apple Pencils and their updated features available in time for the iPhone 9? It’s almost impossible to say based on patent drawings and filings. These patents were filed back in Q1 2016. That doesn’t tell us much except that Apple has been thinking about bringing the Apple Pencil to the iPhone for well over a year. These new Apple Pencils may never make it to market, or they could launch sometime next year. As the launch date gets closer there should be more and more rumors to give us a better idea of Apple’s plans. Until then, all we have are patent drawings and our imaginations.
Image source: Patently Apple