Apple recently filed a patent for a stylus that Steve Jobs would have hated.
It’s not anything about Apple’s patent that would have upset Jobs — he hated all styluses (or styli, take your pick) equally.
In one of many jabs at the digital pen, Jobs made fun of the stylus at Macworld 2007, where he first introduced the iPhone.
“Who wants a stylus?” he said to laughter from the crowd. “You have to get ’em, put ’em away, you lose ’em, yuck. Nobody wants a stylus.”
Later, he slammed Microsoft’s idea of a tablet with a stylus to his biographer Walter Isaacson. “As soon as you have a stylus, you’re dead.”
Jobs decided on the touch display instead and the world was never the same.
Apple’s patent is nothing incredibly complex, but then again we’re talking about something designed to point at a screen.
And even though Apple has shunned them for years, there’s a ton of third-party styluses available online.
Of course Apple patents tons of things that never make it to production. We may never see Apple sell a stylus.
But for my money it probably wouldn’t hurt Apple’s push to put iPads in schools. It could also help Apple in the enterprise — a stylus might be better for certain kinds of data entry or other repetitive tasks.
Here’s what it looks like: