Settle down about the Apple Pencil, nature is healing

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read
Settle down about the Apple Pencil, nature is healing

Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Apple selling 4 Apple Pencils is great. It’s more confusing than it ought to be, but this week’s iPad event clearly showed me how this is going to play out in the near(ish) future.

Just look at the 2024 iPads

If we pretend that the brand new iPads are the only iPads that exist, this is what the page looks like:

Better, right?! This would mean you either want the cheaper, less capable, less convenient one, or you want the more expensive, more capable, more convenient one.

I think the important thing to take away from this new generation of iPads is that the new generation is completely aligned on Apple Pencil compatibility.

The other iPads

The complications are legacy products in the lineup. I don’t think there’s anyone who would say the last couple years of iPad releases have been ideal, and we’re reckoning with that sporadic schedule today. The iPad mini at least makes sense as it worked with the latest Pencil at the time of its release, but the 10th generation iPad is just a weirdo who initially only worked with the original Lightning-based Apple Pencil and only later got support for the cheaper “Apple Pencil (USB-C)”. You also had the 9th generation iPad as well, which only supported the Lightning Apple Pencil.

The future

I think it’s a sure thing that the 11th generation iPad will one day be a thing, and while I’m less definitively confident about a new mini, I also think that will happen in the next 12 months as well. Personally, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that once these iPads get their updates, they will both support the brand new Apple Pencil Pro and the cheaper Apple Pencil (USB-C).

At that point, yes, the Apple Pencil buy page on will be able to look like this:

I too wish that Apple had updated the entire iPad lineup this week as well, but they didn’t. Nonetheless, I think there is a pretty clear path to peace with the Apple Pencil situation.