Could the iPhone 9 feature a Samsung-style smartphone stylus?

Apple is reportedly considering introducing a stylus for future iPhone models, according to a new report.

While other phone makers – most notably Samsung – have shipped smartphones with styluses, it’s hardly the norm. Apple, for instance, has never offered its own stylus for mobile phones, although it did recently introduce the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro.

It’s slightly surprising, then, to hear rumours that Apple might be plotting a stylus that would come bundled with a new iPhone as standard. A report by South Korea’s The Investor cites anonymous sources as saying that Apple is hard at work on a phone-friendly stylus.

“Apple is preparing to launch the phone as early as 2019,” the source is quoted as saying. “It is also in talks with a couple of stylus makers for a partnership.”

Samsung has long offered styluses with its Galaxy Note phone series, most recently with the Galaxy Note 8. But Apple has always been bearish about the idea. In fact, late Apple founder Steve Jobs was famously opposed to styluses, once saying: “God gave us 10 styluses. Let’s not invent another.”

But Apple’s apparent efforts in building a stylus may be a result of hard-to-find innovation, rather than there being a direct need for such a peripheral.

Tech commentators seem to have settled on the consensus that we’ve reached smartphone. This theory supposes that smartphones are almost as good as they’re ever going to be, and finding new ways to improve them is increasingly difficult. But Apple shareholders will be keen for the company to continue giving customers a reason to upgrade their phone each year.

That’s why this year saw very minor upgrades with the iPhone X, with Apple offering little more than a new screen, a slightly faster processor, and face-unlocking. That leaves little else to be added for the 2018 and 2019 iPhone rosters, prompting Apple to try its hand at long-avoided features – like the humble stylus.

It’s worth remembering, however, that there’s no concrete evidence yet that Apple plans to introduce a stylus. And if it is an accessory planned for 2019, as today’s report suggests, then we likely we won’t see it on next year’s iPhone 9 either.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S9

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