Apple Pencil

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Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil (second generation)
Apple Pencil (second generation)
DeveloperApple Inc.
ManufacturerApple Inc.
TypeDigital stylus
Release dateNovember 11, 2015 (2015-11-11) (1st generation)
November 7, 2018 (2018-11-07) (2nd generation)
November 1, 2023 (2023-11-01) (USB-C)
Introductory priceUS$99[1][2]
System on a chip32-bit RISC ARM-based Cortex-M3
CPUSTMicroelectronics STM32L151UCY6 Ultra-low-power MCU @ 32 MHz
Memory64-Kilobyte Flash
InputFirst generation:
Lightning connector eight pin, Bluetooth 4.1[3]
Second generation:
Bluetooth 4.1[4]
Power3.82 V 0.329 W·h (86.1 mA·h)
DimensionsFirst generation:
Length: 6.92 inches (176 mm) measured from tip to cap
Diameter: 0.35 inches (8.9 mm)[3]

Second generation:
Length: 6.53 inches (166 mm)
Diameter: 0.35 inches (8.9 mm)[4]

Length: 6.10 inches (155 mm)
Diameter: 0.29 inches (7.4 mm)
Mass0.73 ounces (21 g)

Apple Pencil is a line of wireless stylus pen accessories designed and developed by Apple Inc. for use with supported iPad tablets.

The first-generation Apple Pencil was announced alongside the first iPad Pro on September 9, 2015. It communicates wirelessly via Bluetooth and has a removable cap that conceals a Lightning connector used for charging. The Pencil is compatible with the first- and second-generation iPad Pro models, and the sixth through tenth-generation iPad models (with the latter requiring a USB-C adapter).[5][6]

The second-generation Apple Pencil was announced on October 30, 2018, alongside the third-generation iPad Pro, and is used with most iPad models that contain a USB-C connector (excluding the tenth-generation iPad). It uses a magnetic connector on the side of the tablet for charging rather than a Lightning connector, and includes touch-sensitive areas that can be tapped to perform actions within supported apps. In October 2023, Apple announced a third Apple Pencil model, intended as a lower-cost alternative to the second-generation Pencil on iPad models with USB-C connectors; this version removes the pen pressure sensitivity, touch-sensitive areas, and magnetic charging features, and is charged using a USB-C connector concealed by sliding up its cap.

Apple has promoted the Pencil as being oriented towards creative work and productivity;[7] during its unveiling, the Pencil's drawing capabilities were demonstrated using the mobile version of Adobe Photoshop,[8] and its document-annotation capabilities were shown on several Microsoft Office apps.[9][10]


First generation[edit]

The Apple Pencil has pressure sensitivity and angle detection, and it was designed for low latency to enable smooth marking on the screen.[11][12] The Pencil and the user's fingers can be used simultaneously while rejecting input from the user's palm.[13][14] One end of the device has a magnetically-fastened removable cap which covers a Lightning connector which is used for charging from an iPad's Lightning port. A complete charge lasts about twelve hours, fifteen seconds of charging provides sufficient power for 30 minutes of use and it takes about 10 minutes to charge it fully.[15] It also ships with a female-to-female Lightning adapter that allows it to be used with charging cables.[16]

The Apple Pencil uses an STMicroelectronics STM32L151UCY6 Ultra-low-power 32-bit RISC ARM-based Cortex-M3 MCU running at 32 MHz with 64 KB of flash memory, a Bosch Sensortech BMA280 3‐axis accelerometer and a Cambridge Silicon Radio (Qualcomm) CSR1012A05 Bluetooth Smart IC for its Bluetooth connection to the iPad. It is powered by a rechargeable 3.82 V, 0.329 Wh lithium-ion battery.[17][18]

The first-generation Apple Pencil is compatible with iPad models released since 2018 that have a Lightning connector, including the first- and second-generation iPad Pro models, third-generation iPad Air, fifth-generation iPad Mini, sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, and the seventh, eighth, and ninth-generation 10.2-inch iPad models.[19][20] It also supports the tenth-generation, 10.9-inch iPad released in 2022, but requires a dongle (similar to the aforementioned Lightning adapter) to connect it to a USB-C cable for charging. Apple began to bundle this dongle with Pencil units in October 2022, and it can be purchased separately by existing owners.[20][16]

Second generation[edit]

On October 30, 2018, Apple announced an updated Pencil alongside the third-generation iPad Pro. It is similar in design and specifications to the first model, but without the detachable connector, and part of the stylus is flattened to inhibit rolling. It contains tap-sensitive zones on its sides that can be mapped to functions within apps.[21] The sixth-generation iPad Pro added the ability to detect Pencil position and angle up to 12 millimetres (0.47 in) above the screen.[22][23][24] Custom laser engraving is available when purchased via the Apple Store online.[21]

Rather than a physical Lightning connector, the second-generation Pencil is paired and charged using a proprietary magnetic wireless charging connector on the tablet instead. As such, it is only supported by the third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-generation iPad Pro,[21][25] sixth-generation iPad Mini, and the fourth-[26] and fifth-generation iPad Air. All of these models have USB-C connectors instead of Lightning, making them physically incompatible with the first-generation Pencil.[25][21]


On October 17, 2023, Apple announced a new entry-level Pencil model, compatible with iPad models using USB-C connectors. This variant lacks pressure sensitivity and the tap-sensitive zones of the second-generation Pencil, but still supports hover detection on supported iPad models. It is charged via a USB-C port concealed by sliding up its cap.[27][28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "iPad Air, Apple Pencil, Apple Keyboard Specifications". Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "#AppleEvent : iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Apple Keyboard Specifications And Pricing". Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Apple Pencil - Technical Specification".
  4. ^ a b "Apple Pencil (2nd generation) - Technical Specifications".
  5. ^ "Apple's new iPad with Pencil support is just $299 for schools". The Verge. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Savov, Vlad (March 18, 2019). "Apple's new iPads cling to old Apple Pencil". The Verge. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  7. ^ Pagliery, Jose (September 10, 2015). "Artists cheer the new Apple Pencil stylus". CNN Money. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  8. ^ King, Hope (September 9, 2015). "Apple criticized for Photoshopping smile on woman's face". CNN Money. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  9. ^ Price, Rob (September 9, 2015). "Apple just announced a product that Steve Jobs famously hated". Business Insider. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  10. ^ Davies, Chris (September 9, 2015). "Apple Pencil for iPad Pro revealed: The stylus' time has come". Slashgear. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  11. ^ Statt, Nick (September 9, 2015). "Here's why Apple made the stylus that Steve Jobs hated: Styluses and screens have come a long way". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  12. ^ Harley; et al. "United States Patent: 8638320". Patent Full Text. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  13. ^ Ulanoff, Lance (September 10, 2015). "Hands on with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil: A huge tablet and an impressive tool". Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  14. ^ Cunningham, Andrew (September 9, 2015). "Hands-on with the iPad Pro, its keyboard, and its pencil". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  15. ^ Hall, Zac (November 24, 2015). "Review: Apple Pencil is the best iPad writing tool yet ... if you can handle the Pro's size". 9to5Mac. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Using an Apple Pencil With the New USB-C iPad? Brace for the Dongle". PCMAG. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  17. ^ "Apple Pencil Teardown". iFixit. November 19, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  18. ^ Ulanoff, Lance (September 12, 2015). "Apple is not following Jobs' script and that's OK". Mashable. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  19. ^ Savov, Vlad (March 18, 2019). "Apple's new iPads cling to old Apple Pencil". The Verge. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  20. ^ a b Porter, Jon (October 18, 2022). "Apple's new iPad only supports the old Apple Pencil — and needs an adapter to do so". The Verge. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  21. ^ a b c d Lee, Dami. "The new Apple Pencil 2 has gesture controls and charges wirelessly from the iPad Pro". The Verge. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  22. ^ Seifert, Dan (October 28, 2022). "Apple iPad Pro (2022) review: bump the chip". The Verge. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  23. ^ Loyola, Roman. "New M2 iPad Pro introduces Apple Pencil Hover Experience". Macworld. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  24. ^ Heater, Brian (March 27, 2023). "Apple discusses iPadOS 16.4's new Pencil hover features". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  25. ^ a b Krol, Jacob (March 24, 2020). "The 2020 iPad Pro's trackpad support steals the show on the fastest tablet we've ever tested". CNN Underscored. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  26. ^ Warren, Tom (September 15, 2020). "Apple announces new iPad Air that looks more like an iPad Pro, starting at $599". The Verge. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  27. ^ Peters, Jay (November 1, 2023). "You can now order the USB-C Apple Pencil". The Verge. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  28. ^ "Cheaper New Entry-Level Apple Pencil Gets USB-C, Cuts Pressure Sensitivity". CNET. Retrieved November 2, 2023.

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