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Apple takes an eraser to its Pencil

Apple is indeed working on a new Pencil, but it may remain an accessory for the iPad only.

Apple takes an eraser to its Pencil
[Photo: freestocks.org/Unsplash]
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Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a solid record of predicting future iPhones and features, says none of the three phones Apple will launch in September will support the Apple Pencil–because it’s not a “good user experience.”

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Kuo’s research note contradicts an earlier one from the Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, which predicted the Apple Pencil will work on the screens of two of Apple’s 2018 iPhones.

Apple has indeed been working on a new, smaller Apple Pencil that includes a function button, a well-placed source tells me. But the launch date remains unclear and the device may remain usable only on the iPad.

Samsung’s successful Galaxy Note smartphones have always included a stylus. In its most recent Note–the Galaxy Note 9–Samsung has given the S Pen Bluetooth LE technology, which gives it some increased “remote control” functionality, including the ability to activate the phone’s camera from a distance or step through a presentation.

Apple is expected to launch three phones this fall, including 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED models, and a lower-priced 6.1-inch LED model. Kuo believes the LED model will be delayed (production line difficulties), while the OLED phones will become available shortly after the press event, which is rumored to be scheduled for September 12.

Kuo believes Apple will sell dual-SIM versions of the 6.1-inch and 6.5-inch phones in certain markets in China.

Kuo’s note tallies with most of the predictions in a Bloomberg report on the upcoming iPhones published Monday. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman writes that, with the new iPhones, Apple is not hoping for blockbusters that win large numbers of new customers.

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“Apple’s goal these days is to steadily raise average prices, while expanding the total number of active devices to support sales of accessories and digital services like streaming music and video.”

The Bloomberg report also says that Google will unveil its new line of Nexus phones at a press event in New York City October 9.

About the author

Fast Company Senior Writer Mark Sullivan covers emerging technology, politics, artificial intelligence, large tech companies, and misinformation. An award-winning San Francisco-based journalist, Sullivan's work has appeared in Wired, Al Jazeera, CNN, ABC News, CNET, and many others.

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