iPhone 11 could come with a huge new feature: Apple Pencil support

(Image credit: Future)

Most of the leaks and rumors surrounding the new iPhone point to it being a rather similar device to the iPhone XS, with perhaps a new camera array and a slight performance boost, but a new report points to one huge new feature the upcoming handset could have – support for the Apple Pencil.

According to an insider analyst report, shared to Business Insider by Citi Research, a big new feature for Apple's 2019 iPhones is that they'll work with Apple Pencils. Most of Citi's predictions line up to what we've heard many times before, but this rumor is a brand new one.

When we say this is a "brand new rumor" we mean we haven't heard it said about the iPhone 11 before, but the functionality was previously rumored for the iPhone XS in 2018. However back in 2017 we heard the 2019 iPhones could have stylus support, which lends credence to this new rumor.

The Apple Pencil is a stylus launched in 2015 that works alongside iPads such as the iPad Pro range, allowing you to draw, take notes or effortlessly scroll through tabs and apps. 

The second generation Pencil (yes, it's had an upgrade since its initial launch) charges wirelessly by connecting it magnetically to an iPad, and it's a useful tool for people who use their iPad a lot (if you can stomach its $129 / £119 / AU$199 asking price).

Stylus support isn't a new feature for smartphones – the Samsung Galaxy Note range has always had an 'S Pen' that's used for a variety of features. We're expecting the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 to launch around a month before the iPhone 11, so it could be a competitive time for stylus phones.

However, it's worth taking this report with a pinch of salt, because there's one thing to bear in mind when assuming the Apple Pencil will work with the iPhone 11 – the Apple Pencil is actually bigger than we're expecting the iPhone 11 to be.

The second generation Pencil is 166mm long, but the iPhone XS Max (currently the largest iPhone on offer) is 157.5mm in length - and we don't expect the new iPhone to exceed this.

Therefore it's possible that Apple will release a new, smaller version of the Apple Pencil, in the same way Samsung has a larger S Pen for the Tab S range of tablets and a smaller one for the Galaxy Note phones.

We'll know for sure in early September, as that's when we're expecting the new range of iPhones to launch, so stay tuned to TechRadar to see if this novel rumor turns out to be true.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.