An iPhone Apple Pencil was scrapped at the last minute, leaker claims

Apple Pencil 1 and 2 in X shape
(Image credit: iMore)

A new report claims that Apple had planned to release a new Apple Pencil during the iPhone 14 event only to cancel it at the last minute.

The report, via leaker Duan Rui who is passing on another report via Chinese social network Weibo, claims that the new Apple Pencil would have worked with both iPhones and iPads and would have had a price of just $49.

An iPhone stylus, finally?

At this point it is well worth noting that the Weibo leaker's track record isn't one we can vouch for, but the idea of a stylus that would work with the iPhone is an interesting one regardless. Note that the original Weibo message has now been deleted.

According to the leaker, the Apple Pencil was codenamed "Marker" and would have cost around half the cheapest Apple Pencil price to date. That price would have been made possible by the removal of some features including pressure sensitivity. There would also be no battery in the Apple Pencil. Instead, it would be powered by by the screen that it was touching.

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Perhaps just as interesting is the claim that Apple was so close to announcing this thing in September that it had already built a million of them. The report claims that they were all waiting to be shipped, but are now no longer needed and will be scrapped. To go this long with so many produced without a tangible leak seems unlikely at this point though.

Whether Apple could have another try at bringing the Apple Pencil to the iPhone or not remains to be seen — the current Apple Pencils don't work with any iPhone, something that some continue to wish was not the case.

By contrast, Samsung has been shipping various styluses that work with its own phones for years, starting with the Galaxy Note lineup. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is certainly large enough to support handwritten notes, but for now it isn't something Apple supports.

However, the software is there with Apple bringing its Freeform app to iPhone and iPad (and Mac) before the end of the year. The app seems perfectly suited to a stylus, so perhaps there might be some truth to this report after all.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.