Apple rumors usually fall into one of three categories: Believable, unbelievable, and ridiculous. A recent claim from International Business Times is making a strong case for a fourth, even less plausible designation. According to the IBT, Apple's next iPhone is definitely going to come with a stylus.
IBT makes the claims not once, but twice, even going so far as to suggest that you should expect a stylus with the iPhone 6. The site draws its conclusion from a recently outed patent for an "iPen" device that uses orientation sensors built into the stylus itself as well as a touch panel, as well as an extendable tip. The system would theoretically allow the implement to be used like a traditional drawing device, producing different on-screen effect depending on how it is held and its angle to the screen.
To link such a patent to the upcoming next-generation iPhone is absurd to say the least, and there's quite literally zero reason to think that the two have any relation to one another. The iPhone has a touchscreen and the patented stylus is designed to work with touch panel of some sort... that's about as tenuous a correlation as I've ever seen.
This theory also completely ignores the fact that Apple has scoring patents for a "smart pen" or stylus since 2010, and almost every one of them either notes its use for tablets, or doesn't name a host device whatsoever. If anything, I'd argue that an super-stylus makes much more sense on the still-mythical "iPad Pro," rather than anything designed to stick in your pocket, and even that claim would be a huge stretch.
The iPhone has always been about simplicity, and it was the original anti-stylus smartphone. To suggest a change at this point in the device's heritage is over the top to say the least.
"So let's not use a stylus. We're going to use the best pointing device in the world. We're going to use a pointing device that we're all born with - born with ten of them. We're going to use our fingers. We're going to touch this with our fingers. And we have invented a new technology called multi-touch, which is phenomenal. It works like magic." -Steve Jobs, announcing the original iPhone in 2007
In the seven years since Jobs stood on stage and made that statement, our fingers haven't gotten any less awesome, and touchscreen technology has improved even further. Would an "iPen" make sense for artists? Absolutely. But most artists wouldn't find a 4 or 5-inch screen ideal for scribbling, and it certainly wouldn't be a reason to include one alongside the next iPhone.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
[Photo credit: Michael Gil (iPhone)]