Over the weekend, Apple journalist John Gruber highlighted a comment made by Tim Cook during an interview with NDTV's Vikram Chandra back in May, in which the Apple CEO was asked what he thought Steve Jobs would make of the Apple Pencil.
NDTV: Has that voice never come to you? For example when you launched the pencil and you know what Steve said,' if you see a stylus they blew it', when you launched that pencil?
Tim Cook: Well we launched a pencil, not a stylus, first of all, and there’s a big difference, and the things that people are doing with this pencil, I think that Steve would have loved. He loved to help people create. And if you've ever seen what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone, it's really unbelievable. You should really show some of these to your audience.
Gruber wondered whether Cook had simply misspoken, or if he had perhaps let slip that Apple was internally using the Pencil with its upcoming iPhone.
Apple's Pencil currently only works with the iPad Pro because of the display technology required to achieve the tool's high responsiveness: the iPad Pro's screen features a subsystem which scans the Pencil's signal 240 times per second, enabling it to detect position, force, and tilt at the individual pixel level.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously claimed Apple will release new iPad Pro models next year, but with the fate of the iPad mini uncertain, it's conceivable that Apple may discontinue the tablet and pitch the iPhone 7 as its smallest creative device by adding support for the Apple Pencil. Alternatively, it could restrict support for the tool to the iPhone 7 Plus, which would serve to further differentiate it from the new 4.7-inch handset and give pre-recall users of the Galaxy Note 7 – which has a stylus – another reason to consider switching devices.
Based on display improvements introduced in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, DisplayMate's Ray Soneira has speculated the iPhone 7 display could include similar features such as True Tone, as Apple often expands display advancements across its entire product lineup. Whether or not this includes the subsystem required to support the Apple Pencil remains unclear.
With just hours to go before Apple's iPhone 7 event, we'll know for sure later today. Apple will provide a live stream of the keynote on the Apple TV and on iOS and Mac devices through its website, starting at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors will also have full coverage of the event, with a live blog on our front page at MacRumors.com and updates in 140 characters or less through our @MacRumorsLive account on Twitter.
Top Rated Comments
I'm sure this has all been said before, but did any of you ever use a device that came with a stylus 10 years ago? They required a stylus. They would not work without one. The screens didn't work with fingers. Finger input (and especially multitouch) changed the game in this market. Styluses then became a simple marker of primitive and limited hardware.
Sure, the Pencil has similarities with a stylus, but a Pencil is not a simple stylus. The Pencil expands the use of the device. I can still use an iPad without it, but there are limits to what fingers can do. The Pencil greatly increases the creative capabilities of these devices.
Remember the arguments about how an iPad is great for content consumption, but not for content curation? Sketching on the iPad with fingers was pretty ordinary, mostly because fingers are not fine or precise. The Pencil gets around that limitation. So what's the problem with expanding what a device can do by adding another type of input?
I simply don't buy the argument by people who rehash the stylus quote. Yes, it looks like a stylus, but the context is very different.
Having said that, would Steve have let the Pencil go to market? Honestly, who knows? Perhaps not. But that's not really the point. The point is that his quote had a specific meaning in a specific context. Things have changed a lot since then.
Remember when, after years of claiming a clean minimalist interface was the best, Jobs announced 'beautiful desktop wallpapers' and the crowd laughed because they thought he was joking? Remember how at first he was opposed to the iOS App Store (preferring Web 2.0/Ajax)? He wasn't infallible and often went back on words he said just a keynote before.
Steve Jobs LOVED accessories. Want VGA on your PowerBook, he's got a $39 dongle for that. Is your iPod cold? 6 Apple Socks for $29!
There is nothing on my iPad Pro that requires the Pencil. I can draw with my finger if I want. But unless you are three years old, you don't stick your finger in paint and draw on paper. The pencil is an ACCESSORY that allows people to draw like they would on paper on an iPad.
Jobs would spin it the same way as Cook, it's a pencil not a stylus.
When Steve was talking about the stylus, he was talking about the user interface to control the device. He found that touch was the most intuitive and efficient interface to control a mobile OS, over carrying a stylus and tapping the screen with that. I would agree.
When Tim Cook talks about the Apple Pencil, he's talking about the user interface to draw and add functionality that the finger can't really do. He's not talking about replacing the finger. Most people find that a pencil is the most intuitive and efficient interface to sketch photographs. I would agree.
[doublepost=1473245857][/doublepost] Respectfully, the Apple Pencil isn't quite marketed for 'normal people'; it's more of a niche product, specifically for graphic design. Unless every Tom, Dick, and Harry work at Pixar!