Apple blows it by patenting iPad stylus

"If you see a stylus, they've blown it," Steve Jobs said. Time to eat your words, Apple?

Get ready for some blowback, Steve. When the iPad came out last year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs sneered at tablets that needed a digital pen for input. "If you see a stylus, they've blown it," he said.

Now Patently Apple has revealed that Apple boffins have been working on none other than a new kind of hybrid stylus, designed to put a touch of geek back into a next-gen iPad.

Apple has decided that while fingers are fine for most iPad activities, your chunky sausages are simply not dainty enough for fine graphics work. The pen could sport squeezable force sensors, buttons or switches to flip between different brushes and functions.

The stylus comes with a pivoting head that contains a conductive disc that maintains a solid contact with the capacitive elements on the future iPad's touchscreen.

Apple is also thinking about using the pen as a joystick for gaming or as a virtual fountain pen for a retro-modern digital calligraphy. One of the pens covered in the patent even has a built-in accelerometer for super-accurate positioning.