Apple brought touchscreen computing to the masses with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and extended that vision with the hot-selling iPad. Before Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) moves, many smartphones and tablets had typically relied on a pen or stylus as a primary method of input and navigation.
But in at the iPhone’s unveiling, CEO Steve Jobs specifically derided pen input as clumsy and the touch interface more natural.
Is Apple now rethinking that stance? According to the website Patently Apple, recent patent filings by the computer and consumer electronics giant indicate a renewed interest in other input devices besides touch.
“Now that the iPhone and iPad are well-established, Apple can feel pretty secure about talking about pen input opening up additional functionality, which is certainly true,” Roger Kay, analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates,” told InternetNews.com. “There’d be a certain irony of course since Microsoft’s been screaming about the benefits of pen input for years. Nice head fake by Apple.”
As Datamation reports, it’s a development that could have significant implications for augmenting the iPad and perhaps even the release of a new kind of mobile device from Apple.