Jony Ive Explains How the Apple Pencil Came to Be [Interview]

Apple’s chief designer Sir Jonathan Ive a.k.a Jony Ive, has today shared the story of the Apple Pencil, the companion stylus accessory for the new 12.9” iPad Pro, in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph’s Rhiannon Williams. The Pencil has been designed to replicate the tactile experience of using a pen or pencil as naturally and accurately as possible, said Ive. The decision to name it Apple Pencil is “an acknowledgement of how objects and instruments have grown and evolved over hundreds of years”, he added.

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Below is an excerpt from Ive’s interview:

“We hoped if you are used to spending a lot of time using paintbrushes, pencils and pens, this will feel like a more natural extension of that experience – that it will feel familiar,” he says, carefully. “To achieve that degree of very simple, natural behaviour, was a significant technological challenge.”

“Many of us in the design team have worked together for 20 plus years. We’ve always drawn in our sketchbooks, and for the first time – despite flirting with some alternatives a couple of years ago – I’m seeing people starting to use the iPad and Apple Pencil. Our personal experience has been that there are definitely affordances and opportunities now that you have a much more natural and intuitive environment to make marks, there are clearly things you can do sketching and writing on the iPad which you could never dream of doing in the analogue world.”

As put into words by Williams, in an age when other companies are bending over backwards to reinvent the wheel, Jony Ive has reinvented the pencil.

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  • Tim

    Translation: “We realized that there are legitimate usage cases for a stylus.”

  • KII

    I have a complaint for Jony. My “Apple paper” has been marked as shipped but the “Apple pencil” needs 3-4 weeks. There’s a get the lead out joke somewhere in there.