iPad Pro 2021 leak reveals new Apple Pencil design

iPad Pro 2021 leak reveals new Apple Pencil design
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The new iPad Pro 2021 is expected to arrive this month, and a new Apple Pencil may arrive alongside it. At least that's what a new leak suggests.

An image of a new Apple Pencil surfaced today (March 3) from Singapore-based Twitter user Mr. White, and it looks more like the original Apple Pencil than we would have expected. But before we get worried, we'll note that this is just one angle of the new stylus.

The first, and most obvious difference between this Pencil and the most recent model is what appears to be a glossy finish. The 2nd Gen Apple Pencil has a matte finish, which makes it easier to grip than the glossy original Apple Pencil.

Looking closely at the detached tip, it appears to be much larger than the tips in either of the current Apple Pencils. Apple isn't the kind of company that increases the size of a product without serious reason, so it could be up-sized to add a new capability. 

We haven't heard big rumors about what the next Apple Pencil will hold, but the folks at Patently Apple have posted two related patents. One speaks of functional tip modules, that would be interchangeable and could introduce new sensors. Think about how Hawkeye has a series of tip attachments to give his arrows different capabilities. 

The other patent concerns a light sensor system inside the Apple Pencil tip, so you could "pull" color from one object and paint with it in an app. Which sounds pretty cool to us.

What we don't see, though, is any flat edges, though we have reason to believe they're on the side lying flat on the shown surface. The Apple Pencil 2 relies on its flat side to attach to the iPad Pro, and it's essential for stopping the pencil from rolling away accidentally.

The next iPad Pro may arrive at the to-be-announced Apple spring 2021 event, where the AirTags and Apple TV 2021 are rumored to be revealed.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.