Why is this so surprising you may ask? Let me take you back several years in stylus history. In 1993 Apple introduced the Apple Newtown MessagePad 100 which used a stylus – a pen-like instrument used to write or tap on the touchscreen. The stylus allowed accurate screen contact without the user having to touch the screen with their fingers.
3 years later in 1996 the Pilot 1000 was introduced by Palm and a stylus revolution was born. Going forward, all of the PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant’s) that had a touchscreen used a stylus. As smartphones started to become popular, many of those devices also incorporated a stylus – devices from Nokia, Palm, and those using Window’s Mobile all incorporated a stylus in their designs.
Then a funny thing happened. Manufactures quit including the stylus with their touchscreen smartphones as the screens became larger. It seemed people just wanted to use their fingers instead of a stylus. When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 without a stylus, most other smartphone companies followed. Perhaps, the nail in the coffin for the stylus was when Palm introduced the Palm Pre at CES in 2009 without a stylus. Thus the stylus was dead, or so I thought…
Fast forward back to today. The Samsung Galaxy Note looks like it will be a huge hit in the US and it includes a stylus. Will the stylus catch on with other devices? Only time will tell.