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Apple’s Latest Patents Hint at iPhone Pencil Support

August 24, 2017, 2:16 PM UTC

Apple could be considering allowing iPhone users to take advantage of its Pencil stylus, if new patent filings are any indication.

Apple news-tracking site Patently Apple has uncovered two patent applications the tech giant filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that suggest it’s considering stylus support for the iPhone. The company specifically mentions the iPhone in the patent applications, according to the site.

The first patent application describes a “noise correct” feature for a touch device that works with a stylus. According to Patently Apple, the patent application describes how a stylus could work with both a “smartphone or tablet,” and goes on to specifically cite an iPhone or iPad. The other patent application describes a technology for improving stylus accuracy and precision in a smartphone.

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Since its launch in 2007, Apple (AAPL) has clung to a touch-only input method on the iPhone. At the time, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs argued touch input was superior to other methods for interacting with smartphones, including the stylus, which was somewhat popular at the time.

Even in the face of stiff competition from Samsung, which just yesterday unveiled a new Galaxy Note 8 smartphone that supports its S Pen stylus, Apple has opted not to add the feature to the iPhone.

However, with the launch of the iPad Pro in 2015, Apple delivered stylus support with its Apple Pencil accessory. The company has so far only offered Apple Pencil support on iPad Pro units and hasn’t brought it to its other devices.

There are few, if any, limitations on Apple Pencil support coming to the iPhone. Apple’s handsets all run on the same mobile operating system, iOS, that the company’s tablets use. Adding Apple Pencil support to the iPhone, in other words, could be as simple as turning it on.

For its part, Apple hasn’t indicated itself that it would bring Pencil support to the iPhone, and like other big tech companies, the device maker files for patents all the time on technologies that won’t necessarily be released. Yet the patents at least suggest Apple is thinking about stylus support for the iPhone, which would likely compete against the S Pen-Galaxy Note 8 combination.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on the patent applications.