Apple and the stylus have a turbulent history. Steve Jobs famously dismissed the idea of a stylus when the very first iPhone launched, and even after the Apple Pencil launched the iPhone remained stylus-free.
There are always rumors that this is going to change, and the latest one is that the foldable iPhone Flip may come with support for the Apple Pencil.
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Or at least that’s according to Chinese analyst firm EqualOcean. It claims that the first foldable iPhone will launch in 2023, will have a 7.3-inch to 7.6-inch display, and sport stylus support. We haven’t really heard from this source before, so it’s worth being very skeptical about what's being claimed.
The main point to note is that EqualOcean claims the iPhone Flip will be a hybrid tablet device. Presumably, it will be like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, with a smaller exterior phone screen that opens up to reveal a larger tablet-esque design.
That’s contrary to recent reports, with noted leaker Jon Prosser claiming that Apple had settled on the clamshell-like design utilized by the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Though Prosser noted that it was still very early days for the iPhone Flip, and things could change. In either case, we’re not going to know for sure until much further into the development process.
However, an iPhone Flip with the fold-out tablet design could benefit from stylus support. After all, every model of iPad now supports some form of Apple Pencil, and it would make sense to add it to any new iPad-adjacent products. The iPhone Flip would be one such product, provided it has that large folding display.
The only question is whether the phone would be compatible with one of the two Apple Pencils already available. Or if Apple would develop something more specific. Perhaps a stylus that can be stored inside the iPhone Flip, much like how the S Pen lives inside the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
It’s still not entirely clear when we’ll see the iPhone Flip, with conflicting reports on whether the phone will arrive in 2022 or not. Everything we’ve heard suggests that it is still early on in the development, so we definitely shouldn’t expect to see the phone this year. As for when we might actually see the real thing, 2023 is as good a guess as any other.