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Affordable USB-C Apple Pencil: Expanding Compatibility and Features for iPads

Apple's recent announcement of a more affordable Apple Pencil with USB-C compatibility brings a new dimension to its range of iPad accessories. Priced at $79, this stylus offers a cost-effective alternative but sacrifices some of the advanced features found in the original and second-generation models.

This latest Apple Pencil is ingeniously designed with a sliding cap that conceals a USB-C port for charging. It also possesses a magnetic attachment feature, allowing it to effortlessly cling to the side edge of iPads, including the 10th-generation model released last year.

While the reduced price is enticing, it's essential to note the compromises. This budget-friendly Pencil lacks some of the premium features seen in its predecessors. Notably, it doesn't support pressure sensitivity, wireless pairing and charging, or the convenient double-tap functionality for tool switching. Nevertheless, it remains compatible with hover functionality, specifically on M2 models of the iPad Pro.

This development marks a significant departure from the original and second-generation Apple Pencils. The initial model used a Lightning connector for charging, while the second generation introduced wireless charging but wasn't compatible with the 10th-generation iPad, causing a degree of inconvenience for users.

The new USB-C Apple Pencil broadens its compatibility to include a range of iPads, such as the third- to sixth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the first- to fourth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro, the fourth- and fifth-generation iPad Air, the 10th-gen iPad, and the sixth-gen iPad Mini. This stylus will be available for purchase starting early November.

In retrospect, Apple's journey with the Apple Pencil has been marked by innovation and pricing dynamics. The second-generation Apple Pencil, introduced in 2018, brought significant enhancements, including wireless charging and magnetic attachment. However, these upgrades came at an increased cost of $129, a $30 premium over the initial model.

This announcement arrives at a time when Apple has been actively updating its iPad lineup, introducing the 10th-generation iPad in October 2022, iPad Pros with M2 chips, an M1-powered iPad Air, and the redesigned iPad Mini in recent years. The more affordable USB-C Apple Pencil aims to make the iPad experience more accessible while providing a practical stylus option for a wider range of users.


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