Apple Introduces Apple Pencil, A Stylus For iPad Pro

The Pencil is mightier than the sword

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil is a stylus made for use with the iPad Pro.screenshot / apple.com

At a special media event in San Francisco today, Apple announced a surprising new product: a stylus called the Apple Pencil.

Apple Pencil was announced in tandem with the new bigger, more powerful iPad called the iPad Pro. Pencil is meant to work with the new touchscreen device, and it's able to detect position, force, and tilt.

Although this is Apple's first stylus made for the iPad, a number of third-party styluses have been available for years (such as FiftyThree Pencil, Adonit Jot and Adobe Ink and Slide).

The Apple Pencil will presumably perform better than all of those products because it was built specifically for use with the iPad Pro, which refreshes its display twice as fast as previous models to increase accuracy. Apple Pencil charges directly from the iPad using a lightning connector. Apple Pencil will cost $99.

Apple's stylus announcement was seen as bizarre because the company's beloved founder Steve Jobs spent the later part of his life denouncing the use styluses on competing machines. “If you need a stylus, you’ve already failed,” Jobs famously said in an interview.

Jobs also famously denounced styluses during the announcement of the iPhone. “Who wants a stylus?” he said. “You have to get ‘em and put them away. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus.” He added that Apple was going to be using “the best pointing device in the world.” He said, “We’re going to use the pointing device that we’re all born with—our fingers.”

Apple is betting that its new stylus will come in handy for graphic designers and others who use the iPad for work. Whether or not it becomes a prefered method of input remains to be seen. Check out all of our coverage of Apple's Fall Event for more info about today's announcements.