12.9-inch iPad Pro may come with optional stylus – KGI Securities analyst

By April Taylor , Jan 19, 2015 09:03 AM EST

Apple could reportedly launch a hardware stylus along with its much-rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro to enhance the experience, according to a reputable industry analyst.

Rumors of a larger iPad, informally dubbed the "iPad Pro," have been making rounds for quite some time. Although Apple has yet to confirm plans to launch a 12.9-inch iPad, expectations and predictions continue to intensify.

The latest prediction regarding this iPad Pro comes from a highly-regarded industry analyst, who has an impressive track record when it comes to anticipating Apple's future product plans.

More specifically, AppleInsider has obtained a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, indicating that Apple may launch a stylus in the second quarter of this year to enhance the user experience of its upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The analyst based his prediction on a large number of stylus-related patents Apple filed, as well as his own research.

"Given that it's more precise than a person's fingers, a stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases," Kuo explained, as cited by AppleInsider. "Therefore, we believe Apple's stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad."

At the same time, the analyst reckons that most users will likely not need a stylus at first, which could prompt Apple to offer the gadget as an optional add-on initially, rather than bundling it with the larger iPad.

"Coupled with its unfavorable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it," Kuo further explained. "We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received."

Moreover, the analyst believes that Apple could take things slow and launch the stylus without many bells and whistles at first. Instead, Apple could add new features in time, such as a built-in gyroscope or accelerometer for 3D handwriting functionality.

"The addition of a gyroscope accelerometer to a stylus allows users to write not only on the display, but also on other hard surfaced and even in the air," added Kuo. "While this is a fantastic application for a stylus, we think the required software and hardware is not fully developed yet. Hence, we don't expect Apple's stylus to support 3D handwriting in 2015."

The analyst has a similar opinion when it comes to the implementation of wireless charging for the purported stylus, speculating that the higher cost and tricky antenna design would likely prompt Apple to go for a Lightning connector to accommodate charging.

With nothing official from Apple's part, however, it remains to be seen what will or will not materialize in regards to this purported 12.9-inch iPad Pro and alleged stylus. We'll keep you up to date as soon as more information becomes available, so stay tuned.

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