With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7's explosive popularity dimmed by its recall, could Apple's iPhone 7 steal its thunder with stylus support of its own? A revisited interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook seems to suggest so.
Speaking with India's NDTV back in May (and resurfaced by noted Apple blogger John Gruber of Daring Fireball), the Apple boss seems to let slip unannounced Apple Pencil functionality in practice on the iPhone.
In response to questions regarding the Apple digital pen – something Apple visionary Steve Jobs was always dead against – Cook stated:
"We launched a pencil not a stylus, first of all, and there's a big difference and the things that people are doing with this pencil, I think that Steve would have loved. He loved to help people create.
"And If you've ever seen what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone, it's really unbelievable."
Slip of the iTongue?
Now, regardless of whether or not the iPhone 7 will have Pencil support, this is definitely a slip of the tongue by Cook. There's no way he'd give away a headline feature like that in passing. But, equally, the wording is such that it's not an easily-confused mistake to make, almost as though Tim had gotten used to mentioning it...
Currently, the Pencil is only supported by Apple's iPad Pro tablets, offering a very good digital handwriting and sketching experience. However, it's a bit on the chunky side, especially if it's set to be paired with a smartphone. While that's no big deal if you already own an iPad Pro and Pencil, you'd hope Apple was working on a smaller version if it really was hoping people would buy one for an iPhone.
Apple's iPhone 7 is likely to launch tonight, with dual cameras expected to feature alongside the removal of the headphone jack.