Apple is expected to introduce a stylus along with the highly-anticipated 12.9-inch “iPad Pro,” an industry analyst said in a new report, adding that the new tablet and its accessory are likely to be launched in the second quarter of this year.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple has filed several stylus-related patents so far, and is expected to finally settle on one of them for the upcoming iPad, which is expected to have a bigger screen size. Kuo, however, also said that the stylus may not initially be well-received by most users, which could prompt Apple to introduce it as an optional feature with the tablet, Apple Insider reported.
“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,” Kuo wrote in the report. “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 also said that the first version of the stylus is likely to be a simple device with basic capabilities. He also does not expect the stylus to come with a wireless charging support as the device is more likely to be charged using a Lightning connector. However, Apple will gradually bring in new features, such as 3D handwriting, in future models, according to Kuo.
“The addition of a gyroscope accelerometer to a stylus allows users to write not only on the display, but also on other hard surfaces and even in the air,” Kuo wrote. “While this is a fantastic application for a stylus, we think the required software and hardware is not fully developed yet. Hence, we don't expect Apple's stylus to support 3D handwriting in 2015.”
An earlier rumor said last fall that the iPad Pro could be powered by the then-unrevealed “A8X” processor, while subsequent reports indicated that the device could also sport two new speakers and an additional microphone, making the bigger iPad “capable of supporting stereo audio,” Apple Insider reported.