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The next iPhone may have a mini Apple Pencil stylus accessory

A case designed for the upcoming 2019 iPhone model has a section on the back apparently made to store a small Apple Pencil, giving the biggest hint yet the new smartphone will include support for the stylus. Made by case manufacturer Olixar, the case description states the back cover comes with “the added convenience of an Apple Pencil sleeve.” Currently the Apple iPhone does not work with the Apple Pencil, making storage unnecessary.

Rumors of the 2019 iPhone supporting the Apple Pencil have spread before. At the beginning of August an analyst wrote that the Pencil feature would be introduced to the iPhone this year, after it being speculated about several times previously. However, what’s interesting about the Olixar case is the size of the Apple Pencil sleeve — it’s noticeably smaller than the current Apple Pencil.

The Apple Pencil stylus available today measures 6.9-inches long. The iPhone XS Max has a length of 6.2 inches. The sleeve on the back of the Olixar case is shorter than the overall length, and assuming the largest new iPhone will be similarly sized to the XS Max, a stylus to match — and fit in the sleeve — may be up to 5 inches long. For reference, the S Pen stylus that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is about 4.2-inches long.

While the case has somewhere to store the Apple Pencil, it does not give any hints regarding the features it will have. It’s logical to expect it to be similar to the Pencil for the iPad, but Apple would be wise to incorporate more phone-specific features, otherwise it may end up being too niche an accessory for many iPhone fans.

Olixar’s case is available for pre-order through online retailer Mobile Fun, but no claim is made that they show an as-yet unofficial new feature for the next iPhone. Case manufacturers often build prototype cases based on rumored specifications and sizes, and don’t always have access to Apple’s design or feature plans. Olixar may simply be watching the rumors and then reacting to them.

Apple is expected to show the new iPhone in September or October, when we will learn whether the new iPhone will take on Samsung’s Galaxy Note series in a stylus battle.

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