While Apple’s marketing team has worked very hard to create an impression the company is innovative, long-time watchers have long known the company more as a consummate follower who just happens to sell their creations better.
After 3 years of an increasingly boring design and an iPhone X which introduces features seem 5 years ago on many Android and Windows Phones, its reputation of innovation has slipped even amongst regular consumers, meaning the company is scrambling to introduce new features to re-establish its lead.
“Apple is preparing to launch the phone as early as 2019,” an industry source told The Investor on condition of anonymity. “It is also in talks with a couple of stylus makers for a partnership.”
A stylus should, of course, be anathema to true Apple fans, after Steve Jobs ridiculed early smartphones for relying on the finger extender. Apple fans, however, got used to the Apple “Pencil” very fast, showing cognitive dissonance is still alive and well even without the reality distortion field.
In a world of companies which tend to follow Apple’s every move (see the race to abandon the headphone jack), Samsung has been the only company which continued to embrace the stylus and iterate on its features. The feature is now an integral part of its Note range, which is currently selling much better than expected.
According to Investor’s sources, Apple’s version would be slightly different, based on super-capacitor technology rather than Samsung’s electromagnetic resonance technology that requires additional panels under the screen,
“A supercapacitor type is cheaper to make compared to the EMR stylus. It also offers a more pen-like feel,” another source said.
Another proponent of the stylus has of course been Microsoft, with the mythical Surface Phone running a version of Windows 10 expected to make heavy use of a pointer.
It is, however, fair to say no-one has done it right yet, with no-one showing anything as cool as Microsoft’s Courier concept for example.
Hopefully, by 2019 we will have a full field of devices running multiple operating systems competing for our wallets (and fingers).