The Apple Pencil doesn't work with the iPhone, but other styluses do — here's how it works


ipad pro 10.5-inch apple pencil

  • The Apple Pencil doesn’t work on any iPhone, as it was designed to work solely with certain iPads.
  • The iPhone’s touchscreen is made differently than the one on the iPad, so the Apple Pencil isn’t currently compatible.  
  • Even so, there are a number of third-party styluses available for many iPhone models.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Steve Jobs famously disliked the stylus, considering it a poor input method for his then-new iPhone. That hasn’t stopped Apple from inventing and selling their own stylus, the Apple Pencil, which is designed to work with the iPad.

But while a number of iPads now have stylus support, you can’t use an Apple Pencil on any iPhone. 

Here’s why, and what you can use instead.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy)

Apple Pencil (From $99.99 at Best Buy)

iPad (From $329.99 at Best Buy)

FiftyThree Digital Stylus (From $24.99 at Amazon)

MoKo Universal Active Stylus Pen (From $28.99 at Amazon)

Why the Apple Pencil doesn’t work on an iPhone

So, the iPhone doesn’t support the Apple Pencil. Why?

The reason is technical: The iPad and iPhone have different touchscreens, and the iPhone would need to be re-engineered to support the Apple Pencil. 

It’s not inconceivable that Apple would remake the iPhone screen — there are many iPhone users who would love a compact version of the Apple Pencil for their phone.

But Apple Pencil support has never been talked about in any official capacity, or even hinted at. So don’t expect it in a new iPhone anytime soon. 

That said, the iPhone does support some styluses, just not the Apple Pencil.

How to use a stylus on the iPhone

While Apple hasn’t shown a lot of interest in making a stylus available for the iPhone, some accessory makers have filled that void. If you want to use a stylus with your iPhone, here are some ways to do that right now:

The FiftyThree Digital Stylus is unusual — it’s flat so it won’t roll off your desk, and is made of wood, making it look like a traditional drawing tool. It works with virtually all iPhones, starting with the iPhone 4s.

Does the Apple Pencil work on an iPhone 1

The Adonit Pixel features a pair of programmable shortcut buttons, and like the FiftyThree, is compatible with virtually all iPhones from the iPhone 4s on. 

The MoKo Universal Active Stylus Pen has a carrying clip that makes it harder to roll away or lose, and features a two-in-one tip design with both a narrow metal tip for precise drawing, and a wide rubber tip. It’s compatible with the iPhone 6 and later. 

Does_the_Apple_Pencil_work_on_an_iPhone 2

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • ‘How much is the Apple Pencil?’: A breakdown of Apple’s advanced iPad styluses, including their prices and which iPads each works with

  • How to pair either version of the Apple Pencil with your iPad for precise drawing and writing

  • How to charge either Apple Pencil model with your iPad, and what to do if it won’t charge

  • Not all iPads can use the Apple Pencil — here’s a breakdown of which iPads are compatible with which version of the Pencil

  • How to restore your iPad from a backup after resetting it

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone accessories from cases to lightning cables

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch Elon Musk unveil his latest plan for conquering Mars