Apple (AAPL) quietly announced its next-generation Pencil that works with iPads and now includes USB-C charging.
The change comes nearly a month after Apple removed its Lightning charger, a landmark move toward universal charging under pressure from European regulators.
Like previous models, the third-generation Apple Pencil is intended for taking notes, drawing and annotating documents. It also supports the hover feature, which allows users to preview and switch between different app tools and controls, when used with 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th generation) and iPad Pro 11 inches (4th generation). The price is $79, which is $20 less than the second-generation Apple Pencil and $50 less than the original.
The biggest change from the last model is the charging system, which is notable not only because the company has resisted this change for years, but also because it’s about to make charging again easier for its customers.
At its iPhone 15 event in September, the company announced that all of its next-generation smartphones and the new AirPods Pro would launch with USB-C charging. Apple had previously switched its iPads and MacBooks to USB-C charging, but the push to finally add it to iPhones came less than a year after the European Union voted in favor of legislation requiring smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, portable speakers and other small devices. to support USB-C charging by 2024.
This first-of-its-kind law aims to reduce the number of chargers and cables consumers have to deal with when purchasing a new device and allow users to mix and match devices and chargers even if they were produced by different manufacturers. In doing so, however, Apple will relinquish control of its wired charging ecosystem, and identifying good chargers from bad ones won’t be obvious to many consumers.
Although Apple does not disclose its Pencil sales figures, David McQueen, director at ABI Research, estimates that around 42 million have been sold since its launch in 2015, considering that 420 million iPads have been sold since then. (assuming 10% or less). of these consumers purchased an Apple Pencil).
“I would have to think it would be that low due to its relatively high price, high-end use case, and availability of much cheaper alternatives capable of working with the iPad,” he said. declared.