Apple Working on Smaller Apple Pencil for iPad Mini 6
Apple is believed to be working on a smaller version of the Apple Pencil, according to recent reports.
In a report outlining the redesign and new features coming to the next-generation iPad mini, the leaker Jon Prosser has revealed insights into what Apple may have in store for a new Apple Pencil model. Sources that are purportedly familiar with the project, speaking to Prosser, have said that the sixth-generation iPad mini will come alongside a new, smaller Apple Pencil.
This Apple Pencil would presumably be more appropriately scaled for use with the iPad mini's form factor, but it is not clear if Apple will sell two different sizes of Apple Pencil or simply make the third-generation Apple Pencil smaller, to be used across all iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro models in the lineup.
Earlier this year, images supposedly depicting a third-generation Apple Pencil were shared by the leaker known as "Mr. White."
The Apple Pencil model depicted in this image appears to share a very similar design to the current, second-generation Apple Pencil, which is shorter than the previous version and charges inductively on the side of an iPad. Nevertheless, it appears to have a glossy finish, much like that used on the first-generation Apple Pencil or AirPods, rather than the matte white finish used on the second version of the accessory, and crucially appears to be shorter, in line with Prosser's rumor.
The other notable difference is the Apple Pencil's tip. The first and second-generation Apple Pencil have small, screw-on tips that are able to be easily replaced when worn out. This updated model seems to have a considerably larger tip component, with a much longer section that screws into the Apple Pencil itself. It is unclear why a new version of the Apple Pencil may have a redesigned tip, but it is likely indicative of internal design changes.
The redesigned head may signal that new functionality is coming to the Apple Pencil's tip. In July last year, Apple applied for a patent regarding an Apple Pencil tip that would allow the device to sample colors from the real world via a color sensor, so it is clear that Apple is interested in expanding the utility of its iPad stylus.
With a different finish, larger tips, and a shorter design, the next-generation Apple Pencil could offer a number of upgrades to justify a new iteration of the device, potentially with added functionality.
It is not entirely clear when the smaller Apple Pencil will launch, but it is likely to come alongside the sixth-generation iPad mini, which Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects will arrive in the second half of 2021.