If you've been clinging to the hope that Apple's upcoming iPhone 11 will add support for the Apple Pencil, a newly leaked "iPhone 11 Pro" case may be just the pick-me-up you need today.
U.K.-based accessories retailer Mobile Fun typically jumps the gun on posting cases for phones before they're released. And the retailer's done that with the iPhone 11 Pro, showing off a case for that rumored model Olixar that includes a built-in Apple Pencil Holder.
There are reasons not to dismiss this leaked image out of hand. For one thing, case makers often get the dimensions for new phone releases ahead of time so that they can rush out accessories that are ready at the same time when those phones finally debut.
For another, compatibility with the Apple Pencil — which currently works with some Apple's iPad models — has long been floated as a possibility for the iPhone. Earlier this month, rumors that two of the three phones Apple will release this fall will carry the iPhone Pro moniker have only increased speculation that Apple Pencil support is coming to the new models.
Apple has famously turned up its nose at offering a stylus for its phones, with Steve Jobs pointedly suggesting that your fingertip should be the only stylus that you need. Still, that hasn't stopped Samsung, Apple's chief smartphone rival, from offering an S Pen stylus with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus and Galaxy Note 10. The latest Note phones offers several new S Pen features, including Air gestures, converting handwriting to text and AR Doodle.
Mobile Fun's listing for the Olixar case specifically says it's for an iPhone 11 Pro model. In addition to the pencil holder attached to the case, you can also see a cutout housing the iPhone's triple camera array — another popular rumor for Apple's upcoming smartphone.
Even with the images, don't treat Olixar's case as confirmation that Apple Pencil support is nailed on for the iPhone 11 Pro. The case maker could be hedging its bets that Apple will introduce stylus support for its new phone, and it's easy enough to whip up a render that houses an Apple pencil. It's also good publicity for both the case maker and the retailer, too.
Still, Apple Pencil support for the next iPhone remains a persistent rumor, and this case, which is available for pre-order, is just another sign that there may be fire to this particular smoke.