Analyst: Apple likely to launch simple stylus with 12.9-inch iPad Pro; advanced 3D stylus due later

“Apple is likely to launch a hardware stylus to enhance the user experience for its long-rumored 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro,’ according one well-placed industry analyst with a strong track record in predicting the company’s future product plans,” Katie Marsal reports for AppleInsider.

“In a report obtained on Sunday by AppleInsider, well-regarded analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said numerous stylus-related patents filed by the Cupertino-based company and his own research lead him to believe the iPad maker will launch a stylus in the second quarter of this year to compliment the 12.9-inch so-called ‘iPad Pro,'” Marsal reports. “Kuo believes that most users likely won’t need a stylus initially, prompting Apple to launch the device as an optional add-on, rather than including it alongside the jumbo iPad. ‘Coupled with its unfavorable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it,’ he wrote. ‘We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note:

Who wants a stylus? You have to get ’em and put ’em away and you lose them. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus, so let’s not use a stylus. – Steve Jobs, January 9, 2007

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “dcham07” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple granted another smart pen patent for capturing digital copies of notes and drawings – December 30, 2014
Apple files their 10th ‘Smart Pen’ patent of the year – December 6, 2014
iPen: Apple patent applications reveal advanced modular smart-pen – February 2, 2014
iPen? Apple secretly files three dynamic smart-pen patents in Europe – February 28, 2013
Apple patent application reveals advanced ‘active stylus’ for iOS devices – December 31, 2012
Apple patent application reveals more about their optical iPen and graphics program – May 24, 2012
Apple patent app details smart, heated ‘iPen’ stylus for iPad and iPhone – July 7, 2011
Apple patent application details new type of stylus for iPad – February 3, 2011


  1. Don’t be so dogmatic about styluses… Might have nothing to do with the idea based on old Blackberry or some other Samsung stuff.
    For designers, an iPad with a precise stylus means having a complete tool ready to get rid of other graphic tablets + having all the advantages of a multi-media tool in one sole package!
    That would be gorgious!

    1. Actually styluses have been available for all touch apple devices since forever. You can buy them at walmart for a couple of bucks on online 10 for 5$. They are not optimized and do not allow the finest of lines to be drawn but they work.

      Just saying,

      1. I believe Almux was talking about precise styluses, ones that designers etc. will be happy to use.

        I have 2. Neither are precise enough for me to draw with (although I will note others have made it work for them).

    2. Agreed. Closing your mind to possibilities just because SJ said something in January 2007 is not wise. SJ was a visionary and said lots of things for various purposes. At that particular time, SJ was ushering a new touch-based ecosystem and a stylus was the antithesis of his near-term goal. But, like a mouse or touchpad or stylus, a finger is not an all encompassing pointing device, either. It has many strengths, but some weaknesses. A stylus offers finer pointing control.

      It seems to me that a stylus would have even greater utility if it offered variable pressure control. That would require either an update to the display, or a fancier stylus. But I seem to recall some recent Apple patents for a fancy stylus. And it is probably easier to embed that technology in a stylus and couple it with low-power Bluetooth than to develop a pressure-sensitive display. It should also be possible to provide sensory feedback through the stylus, similar (but superior to) the methods used in game console controllers.

      I do not want an OS that *requires* a stylus. That is the weakness of the hybrid Windows/Windows Mobile OS on the Microsoft Surface. But that is no reason to completely shun a stylus, especially an advanced Apple stylus, when that device would offer advantages for selected apps – architecture, art, and other media, perhaps even spreadsheets and such. And such a stylus could easily be repackage into an advanced game controller, too. That’s something to consider. I have played quite a few games on iOS and some games are less well-suited to basic touch controls than others. Racing games, for instance, would be more realistic if you could modulate accelerator and brake action rather than it just being off or on. Right now, you have to repeated tap the accelerator or brake in “pulse mode” to simulate an intermediate level of force.

      Those who tend to quote SJ as though he was an oracle, Need to stop. While SJ had special focus and insight into consumer technology, he was also a flawed human being. He made mistakes. And I believe that SJ would likely agree that times change while the musings of a dead person remain static. His vision of the future was limited to his life and experiences. It is up to those who follow to build upon that vision…extend it…expand upon it.

      It is also worth noting that SJ occasionally changed his mind.

  2. If Apple is going to launch a stylus, then perhaps it will contain a propellant of some sort. A large iPad could serve as a launch pad. Something to do with drone technology?

  3. How many times has MDN pointed out that SJ has frequently changed his mind about things?
    Of course, using a stylus as the primary input device is a royal PITA, but a stylus has many other uses, actually jotting notes is much quicker than tapping them in, sketching and painting, doing fine re-touching on photos…
    there are many occasions I really wish I had a nice fine-point stylus just to quickly scribble notes down instead of hunting round for a piece of paper.

  4. …well-regarded analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities

    Well regarded by whom? Not by me. But I will point out that at least he’s original in my myth mongering.

    I got used to using a stylus with my beloved old Palm IIIc. (I miss the Graffiti handwriting recognition system! I was expert!) I got one immediately for my old iPod Touch. (My favorite is from OtherWorldComputing). It comes in handy for certain tasks. There are at least a dozen makers of styli for iOS devices. Why Apple is bothering to get into the market of ordinary styli is beyond my comprehension. But they have a patent for a geeWhizzy stylus beyond what Wacom provides. THAT will be very kewl. :mrgreen:

  5. > numerous stylus-related patents filed by the Cupertino-based company

    Probably all from the days of Newton. 🙂

    Apple won’t include any stylus with any iOS device. However, Apple may enhance iOS and future iPads to provide more precise pointing, allowing third parties to create better styli and apps specifically enhanced for using a stylus (when present). Also, Apple Watch has a pressure sensitive screen, so that capability may be added to future iPads, further improving the utility of a stylus.

  6. I don’t know what target group Apple has in mind for this over-sized tablet with or without a stylus. This product will likely have little impact to improve upon falling iPad sales. It seems as though most consumers have run out of good reasons to get new iPads. I don’t blame that on Apple because the whole tablet industry is in a sales slowdown mode. Although tablets may be nice to have I think most consumers no longer see them as a necessity to have and I find it hard to fathom Apple being able to give consumers a fresh reason to get a newer iPad.

    I could possibly be in the market for a larger iPad, but I’m not sure I’d want to pay $1000 for the privilege of owning such a product. I’d have to see exactly what it was capable of doing. I’m a keyboard-using type of person and don’t like holding or using any sort of writing utensil.

  7. Most iPads I see being used in government, health, hospitality and business – i.e. as a work tool in front office/foyer for interacting with the clients/patients/public – are used by staff using styluses. Of course, there’s a market for bigger iPads with or without styluses and they’re meant for work more than for play. The possibilities for high precision input are intriguing.

  8. I love my iPad, unfortunately I was stung twice by Apple in purchasing iPads. 1 I spent $1,000 on top of the line iPad 1, and 2 years later Apple cut it off the upgrade list. 2 I spent $1,000 on top of the line iPad 3, then 6 months later Apple pulled a fast one and released iPad 4, slashing the resale value of my iPad 3. I am still using the iPad 3 and am wary of getting another.

  9. Steve Jobs was correct when he said if you need a stylus you have failed, he said nothing about using a stylus as an add on. I am 100% sure he is not going to change his mind on this.

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