The jury's still out on the whole stylus thing, even though Samsung has followed up on the 5in Galaxy Note smartphone with a double-sized Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.
But Apple, it seems, isn't taking any chances, and has just applied for a patent of its own that could see the iPad 4 tablet sporting a stylus of its own, called – obviously – the iPen.
That's the word from Apple-watching site Patently Apple, which says the Cupertino tech giant's latest filing with the US Patent & Trademark Office claims “an input device capable of generating haptic feedback may help a user navigate content displayed on the display screen, and may further serve to enhance the content of various applications by creating a more appealing and realistic user interface”.
That's the iPen, obviously, which also comes with all kinds of sensors and special Apple tech touches to set it apart from its stylus rivals.
“Firstly, Apple is thinking of adding advanced haptics to the iPen so that the end user will be able to feel brush strokes and/or line thicknesses for example,” Patently Apple tells us.
“Secondly, Apple is designing the iPen with a built-in mini speaker so as to provide users with various forms of audio feedback.
“To make all of this interesting and relevant, Apple sheds a little light on how their iPen will work with either a new graphics/paint program of their own and/or with known apps such as Autodesk and Microsoft's Paint.”
Will the iPen actually make it into production as an iOS add-on for the likes of the iPhone 5, iPad 4 or the next iPod touch? Maybe, maybe not. Apple might simply watch the market and see how Samsung gets on with the S-pen. But if it does decide to go for it, expect Samsung to be more than a little worried.