The late Steve Jobs introduced the touchscreen Apple iPhone in January 2007 by famously saying, “Who wants a stylus? You have to get them and put them away and you lose them. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus.” But in 2015, the Apple Pencil was unveiled for the iPad Pro. Of course, the Apple Pencil is much more advanced than the simple stylus that Jobs was familiar with back in the day. Three years later, Apple’s second-generation Pencil was announced.
Apple’s patent application describes an Apple Pencil able to “sample” textures and colors of other items
Based on the patent application, the optical sensors for the Apple Pencil could look like this Image credit-Yanko Design
Image from Apple’s patent application Image credit-PatentlyApple
A new Apple Pencil could arrive in 2024 alongside the AMOLED iPad Pro
If we do see a new Apple Pencil, it might not be until the 2024 iPad Pro is introduced, which could be the first iPad to sport an OLED display. When you think about it, that might be the perfect time to offer a new digital stylus with the ability to sample colors and textures lifted by the pencil, and include features such as a microphone and a camera.
Render of the Apple Pencil based on the patent Image credit Yanko Design
Just because you see something in a patent application or even a patent, it doesn’t mean you should expect it to be used in a consumer device right away. In fact, of the large number of patents that Apple receives every year, many are never used. So we can’t say for certain that the technology covered in a patent application or a patent will be used by the company. However, it does make sense that Apple would want to keep improving the capabilities of the Apple Pencil.