KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record when it comes to Apple related product rumors, predicts in his latest research report that Apple may be planning to launch a stylus as an optional accessory for its rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Kuo believes that since the larger iPad will be more popular with enterprise and creative users, who tend to prefer a stylus, Apple launch its own branded stylus along with the iPad Pro. He writes:
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. Therefore, we believe Apple’s stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad
He doesn’t expect Apple to bundle the accessory with the iPad Pro as it would increase the cost of the device too much. He goes on to add:
We don’t think all users will need a stylus initially. Coupled with its unfavorable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it. We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received.
Kuo predicts that users will be able to charge the stylus using the Lightning connector, and unlikely to offer wireless charging due to the cost, and difficult antenna design. He also doesn’t expect the first generation Apple stylus to include a gyroscope accelerometer, but expects future generations to include the component to support “3D handwriting” to allow users to write on any surface, and even on air.
Kuo believes that the stylus will be launched in the second or third quarter of this year, which is also around the time Apple is expected to launch the larger iPad. Apple has received several patents for stylus technology with a recent one for for a ‘communicating stylus’ that can display images or text wirelessly.
If Apple does end up launching the stylus, it would be a u-turn by the company, as Steve Jobs had famously ridiculed the stylus while introducing the original iPhone’s multi-touch technology in January 2007. He said “Who needs a stylus? You’ve to get them and then put them away, and you lose them.”