When the iPhone was first introduced, Steve Jobs rejected the idea of a stylus. Digital devices were said to be designed for the touch. However, the present Apple seems to be thinking of bringing it back by patenting the Active Stylus.
According to Patently Apple:
Unlike conventional styluses which work passively by blocking electric field lines between the drive and sense electrodes of a capacitive touch sensor panel, the styluses disclosed in this patent filing can either act as a drive electrode to create an electric field between the drive electrode and the sense lines of a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel, or as a sense electrode for sensing capacitively coupled signals from one or more stimulated drive rows and columns of the touch sensor panel or both.
This patent, when released as a final product, will improve responsiveness while using a stylus. However, it’s hard to imagine using a stylus on an iOS device.
If this patent is not really for production purposes, it could be that it was only made to improve their patent portfolio – after all, Samsung has their very successful Note line that features the S-Pen, and you know what could spawn from this.
This is not the first time Apple took back its words. The company once said that smaller tablets won’t compete well, and yet here we are with the iPad Mini.