As soon as Apple made announcements on that big event on September 9, 2015, people started hurling boos & hisses on top brass of the company. Criticism was showered on Apple from so-called experts of technology industry.

In a single voice, everybody said that Apple has changed the route charted by Steve Jobs. Of course, Apple made some changes into the original plans & design set by Steve Jobs. But change was necessary.

Why Apple Launched Stylus
Image Credit: Apple.com

If you know the history, you would certainly go back to 2007 Apple Event, where Steve Jobs rejected the need of stylus in his statement: “Who wants a stylus? You have to get em’, put em’ away. You lose them. Yuck.”

Commentators who were critical of Apple’s strategy cited the above statement to back their censures, “Apple just announced a product that Steve Jobs famously hated,” came from Business Insider. Other media too applied their force to collect some reactions.

The center of repulsion was Stylus, which Apple named “Apple Pencil”. But the critics failed to notice one thing that Jobs never singled out stylus from his famous statement; rather, he referred styluses and screens that were outshined by the then latest technology.

With the introduction of capacitive touchscreen, users’ perception towards styluses changed drastically. Before the advent of capacitive touchscreen, styluses were largely used for basic capabilities of resistive touchscreen. A finger couldn’t help you access anything on a Palm Treo 700p in 2006. With the help of a stylus, you could easily get through the interface.

On the contrary, capacitive touchscreen accepts finger input easily, and this was the reason why Steve Jobs denounced the idea of a stylus for the iPhone. Eight years later, at the launch of iPad Pro, Apple knows that this gadget is not going to fit in anybody’s hip-pocket. Rather, iPad Pro is a 12.9-inch slate of glass, which will have different usages like playing games, watching movies, writing documents and taking notes with the attachable keyboard.

Moreover, iPad Pro has more commercial function; for a graphic designer or an architect, it is a great tool to create finest illustrations and impeccable construction plans, which was till date done on products like Wacom. Therefore, stylus or Pencil is necessary for anyone who wants to use iPad Pro as a blank sheet. The stylus can draw lines as per user’s choice; one can apply desired pressure to give shades and create letters.

However, people would still open fire on the lines of Apple’s history of following popular trends of bigger screens of phones, smaller tablets, smartwatches and extra-large tablets.

  • airmanchairman

    Well said, Jignesh. Prior to the iPhone’s advent in 2007, capacitive touchscreens were the exception rather than the rule, hence the need for styluses on many of the industry-leading mobile devices of that time, which used resistive screen technology.

    A year after, you would be hard-pressed to find a single device that did not avail itself of capacitive screen technology, and resistive screens were confined to the dustbin of history.

    Mainstream tablet technology and applications have obviously now advanced to the stage where stylus input is quite feasible (and necessary) for increased productivity, so Apple’s timing is as usual impeccable in including both hardware and enabling software to their mobile computing platform.