Apple Pencil 3 - Why?

The new Apple Pencil 3 is universal (to USB-C port iPads) and magnetically attaches, but no magnetic recharging. Supposedly support every Apple pencil function EXCEPT for this biggie:

“One unexpectedly missing element is pressure sensitivity, a core feature of the first and second-generation models, but one that is absent in the USB-C edition.”
Apple Insider

You’ve GOT to be KIDDING - the whole art community raves about the Apple Pencil, and Apple just flushed that. The fact that it attaches magnetically, but doesn’t recharge that way leads me to believe the camera is going landscape and they didn’t want to try to squeeze in the charging mechanism.

PS - missed one positive - $79…

PPS - blogosphere says don’t call this Apple Pencil 3 - it is basically a replacement for the original (sans pressure sensitivity).


Just not good. They are so obseessed with product stratification that it is ridiculous. They need to go back to their grid LOL. Just make a high end Apple Pencil 3 that is awesome instead of whatever this is.


This actually looks to replace/compete with Logitech’s crayon which similarly lacks pressure sensitivity.

Especially in education, the crayon often accompanies large iPad 9th and 10th gen orders.

It also maybe a response to some EU countries interpretation (Portugal) that for any government/public use purchase, they must use USBC.

I’ve already stated my issues with government mandates like the USBC one, and this may be a case of be careful what you wish for…

1 Like

If there is going to be a real Apple Pencil 3, I hope they allow you to erase with the cap end like the Slim Pencil 2 and several different S-Pens - it is so convenient and second nature to use (well, the later may not mean much to anyone under 30 as they seem to almost be eliminating writing and penmanship from school curriculums).

PS - gotta love this headline -

1 Like

BTW to counter this a bit, A similar article could be published RE Samsung’s S-Pen line up.

So puzzle questions- I have a Tab S6 lite 2022, a Galaxy Fold 5 and am considering purchasing a Tab S9 Ultra. (and this is real world as we have multiple customers in our base in this sceanrio) Will one pen work with all my devices? Will there be differences in functionality in the cases where an individual pen works with at least two devices?

I could go on, but you get the point, Apple is not the only one.

PS: taking a look at all the regulatory info for the new pencil leads me to think that it is to comply with some EU regulations and possibly… that Apple was planning to announce at least one new iPad and perhaps it just isn’t ready yet?

What makes this silly and look like a cash grab by Apple has nothing to do with government mandates.

They were going to have to move the cheaper Apple Pencil to USB C at some point anyway, due to their own product design.

Ok then why not just take the easier obvious step of just releasing a
“new” standard pencil with the USBC connector instead of lightning? Based on both licensing and chip costs the net cost to Apple would be at or close to zero.

EG. not buying the cynical cash grab option in this particular case and the simpler regulatory or Crayon competitor seems much more likely

Sorry - didn’t mean to create a cash grab vs regulatory debate. However, this debate has answered my title question. It just seemed that the only difference between the USB-C pencil and Pencil 2 is the pressure sensitivity, so why not just make it a $129 all-in-one…


…they do need a lower entry point for the non-Pro and education market. So if pressure = $50 this is a no-brainer for Apple (and the end of Lightning completely)…

…and as for the “be careful what you ask for” to the EU…nah… :man_shrugging:…really don’t think so, because it impacts users as well. I see this more, as suggested by others, staging for Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil Pro with the 2024 release of the new iPad Pro (with landscape camera).


Well, it’s a disappointing offering considering we were hearing rumours of a potential mini or air refresh on this news release. And while I get that it’s a very thin gap they’re filling with the cheaper entry level pen option, it’s really only for the entry level iPad. Who spends the extra money on a pro or air, and then gets the cheaper pen that doesn’t do pro things?

1 Like

I really think this is the alternative for education and the remaining folks buying (or owning) an iPad 9.

Just guesswork but replacing the original Pencil means that it will work on older devices and not the Pro models, right? Those were for note takers and not artists so there is some kind of logic in their decision. Those of you who understand this better, would tilt support make it more expensive to produce?

Oh great now Samsung will follow suit in 3 years.

Nope - TWO

The pressure sensitive is baked into the digitizer by wacom, samsung going out of their way to remove it won’t save them cost, just adding more engineering cost. Also Wacom panel is much more expensive, difficult and costy to apply than AES, just adding the panel already added the wacom tax into the price of the device and made them more “premium”. A lot of people buy the almost 1.5x more expensive tab S6 lite over tab A for the pen alone. Samsung might add improved refresh rate on their top end devices only, but removing essential features is a no go.

Apple have a monopoly over their Apple pencil tech and this move to remove feature is probably to undercut the normal cheapest iPad line up. If they remove the original 99$ pencil 1 and add USB-C to the normal iPad, people would either be forced to move up to Pro or Air for pressure sensitivity. If they keep the Pencil 1 in store, people get forced to buy their expensive dongle that raise the price to pencil 2 level. All win for apple.

What Apple probably not accounted for is, for the features the 79$ pencil offer, there’s huge range of a lot a lot cheaper alternative that offer the same feature. Chineses pencil reserve engineered the crayon and did a dang good job at it. I tried one that costed 15$ from my co worker and palm rejection and accurate was perfect, it also looks and felt just like the original.

This new usb-c pencil works on any model with a usb-c connection, so it works on pro models as well as the air, mini, and the newer iPad with usb-c, but not the 9th gen iPad with lightning connector. Basically once they phase out the 9th gen iPads, there will only be the usb-c non-pressure sensitive pencil, and the pencil 2 that is pressure sensitive.

As far as tilt goes, I don’t know a whole lot about it, but an accelerometer just to check the angle of the pencil sounds like it’s a lot cheaper than pressure that checks thousands of levels of pressure.

1 Like

Exactly and the opposite is true for both Apple’s pencils and MS surface pens where pressure adds both an additional sensor and additional support circuitry.

As @dstrauss mentioned, this is almost certainly geared towards a lower price point primarily for education and we should remind ourselves that while we might find pressure support a requirement, it’s superfluous for many other tasks that involve a pen and thus the users.


Actually FWIW, the cost is roughly net equal, eg. the sensor hardware itself might be cheaper, the but the supporting software is actually more complex.