Apple Announces ‘Pencil’ Stylus For iPad Pro, Sells For $99

Apple has announced the addition of a $99 pencil (or stylus) to the company’s product line, marking a distinct movement away from the publicly stated position of deceased CEO Steve Jobs.

Apple’s Phil Schiller revealed the pencil during the company’s highly-anticipated event, which took place Wednesday in San Francisco. Designed to work in conjunction with the newly enlarged tablet, the stylus will take advantage of multitasking features that are integrated into iOS 9, including the new split screen apps. Pressure sensitive, the pencil will recharge by way of a lightning connector from the iPad Pro, as Mashable notes, and features a specially designed nib which can be utilized with a user’s finger. The stylus is also equipped with an array of sensors, which can help detect how the user is holding it.

The introduction of the pencil represents a dramatic move away from the opinions of Steve Jobs, who was famously against applying such tools in mobile devices. Styluses resembling Apple’s new pencil were popularly integrated into mobile platforms long before the iPad was released, though their usage has waned over time, particularly as Apple has increased its market share in that area.

As Gizmodo points out, Jobs never minced words when it came to the inclusion of a device like the pencil on an Apple product.

“If you see a stylus, they blew it.”

The pencil is widely seen by Apple fans as a signal that the company is becoming more comfortable in moving far afield of Jobs’ attitudes regarding their products. Rumored to be announced at Apple’s annual event as far back as January, some fans have already reacted with disdain to its introduction, and derisive jokes have already begun spreading like wildfire across the internet, as Mashable notes.

Though it remains to be seen how popular the pencil will be, Apple attests that the iPad Pro’s screen has been re-engineered to discern between the touch of a human finger and the stylus. The pencil is aimed largely at professionals who require the tool to undertake their work on a tablet, and the enlarged screen of the new iPad is also intended to appeal to that sector of the market.

[Photo by Stephen Lam / Getty Images]