April 11, 2016
A lot has changed since Steve Jobs publicly denounced the need for a stylus in his introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Namely, Apple released a stylus. While our fingers remain attached to us, and are therefore far less likely than a stylus to be lost or broken, Apple announced a stylus as an accessory for their business focused iPad Pro in their September 2015 keynote. The inclusion of a stylus with an Apple product clearly deviated from the company’s early messaging, but a stylus provides increased accuracy, needed for the advanced functions of the iPad Pro.
Since the release, iPad Pro consumers have been happy with the device, reporting higher delight for Apple’s iPad Pro than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4. Analysis of recent consumer reviews about the stylus used with each tablet shows that consumers are also more satisfied with the Apple Pencil than the Surface Pen. The bars of the funnel below display the percentage of iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 feedback in which consumers mentions of Stylus, Apple Pencil, and Surface Pen. Red is negative sentiment; blue is positive, and gray is neutral. While Microsoft consumers mention the stylus at a higher rate than Apple users, consumers report far more disappointment with the Surface Pro 4, with the majority of negative feedback mentioning broken tips and poor responsiveness. Apple’s branding is also stronger, as Apple users refer to the devices as an “Apple Pencil” more often than a generic “stylus,” while Microsoft users use “stylus” over “Surface Pen.”
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