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Rumor: Apple considering iPhone with stylus for launch in 2019

Apple markets the Apple Pencil as an essential add-on for the iPad Pro.

Apple engineers have reportedly been working on an iPhone that would come with a stylus, which could launch in 2019 or later if it comes to fruition.

The company is in talks with a pair of stylus makers for a potential partnership, according to one of several sources on the matter for Korean publication The Investor. Other sources claimed that Apple would likely go with an supercapacitor stylus instead of an EMR (electro-magnetic resonance) model, and may actually need a dramatic upgrade of its A-series processors to handle planned handwriting support.

"Apple had to compromise on some touch performance of the latest iPhone X largely due to the less advanced chipset," one person said.

The Apple Pencil currently works only with iPad Pros, and may be too large for iPhones regardless.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was famously resistant to the idea of including a stylus with the iPhone, saying "if you see a stylus, they blew it" in his criticism of other phones circa 2007. At the time however stylii were being used in place of finger input, not just as a complement for tasks like drawing and notes.

Since then Samsung's Galaxy Note series has also proven popular, the Note 7 notwithstanding. Each Note comes with a small stylus that tucks away inside a compartment — Apple could conceivably adopt a similar strategy, given the greater internal space in the 5.8-inch iPhone X and rumors of a future 6.46-inch format.