Samsung Dodged a Bullet this week, but for How Long?
Even though it was a long shot for this year, John Gruber's report titled "Will the New iPhones support Apple Pencil?" posted last weekend was thought provoking. It wasn't based on some dubious rumor, it was simply reviewing an actual statement that Apple's CEO made while being interviewed by India's NDTV at the 29:37 mark as follows: "If you've ever seen what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone, it's really unbelievable." That's a fact, not a rumor. He didn't say iPhone instead of iPad which would have been a slip of the tongue. It was a very clear statement of "an iPad or an iPhone." And if it was that "unbelievable" as Cook described it, then it clearly shows that he's actually seen something created on both. So it seem to be just a matter of time before this feature comes to market, not if it comes to market.
When Samsung announced their total recall of their Galaxy Note 7, it was a blow to their image. This was echoed again yesterday by Reuters tech editor. Samsung's recall had created a perfect storm scenario. If Apple would have had their iPhone 7 ready to work with Apple Pencil this year, it would have been the perfect Note 7 challenger if not killer.
We all know what Apple's first phablet to market did to Samsung's phablet sales: it destroyed them for two years. A direct Note 7 Challenger at this perfect juncture in time would have put a bullet in Samsung's head. But for now, Samsung has dodged that bullet – but for how long?
Apple hasn't locked the Apple Pencil into one device. They're not stupid. They'll inevitably expand the use of Apple Pencil over time. Their engineering teams have already hinted of such in patent applications that we've covered over the last twelve months. Their latest invention indicated that Apple will advance the Pencil to work with a future version of the Magic Trackpad. If Apple is supporting artists then this is a simple extension and new tool for them, one this is very natural.
Their second invention was granted by USPTO in November 2015 which clearly indicated that the pencil was destined to work with an iPad and an iPhone, just as Cook's statement supported.
The verbiage connected to Apple's patent FIG. 13 states that it "illustrates another exemplary personal device 1300, such as a mobile phone, that can be used with a stylus."
In the end, the Apple Pencil will be coming to a future iPhone Plus model and destroy yet another Samsung niche that they've held on to for far too long. Samsung's executives once laughed at the coming iPhone 6 Plus before it ran over them. Perhaps they'll be a little more humble next time around. Just don't count on it.
For now Samsung has a nightmare recall on their hands and it will definitely set their smartphone comeback for some time. And if we're lucky, we'll get to see Apple introduce their Apple Pencil for its next-gen iPhone Plus model this time next year. Yes, we can always hope.
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