The iPad 4 could sport an iPen, a stylus currently being considered by Apple for all its mobile devices, according to fresh rumours.
The electronic pen will sense movement and provide feedback to users through an inbuilt speaker, news site SmartHouse reports.
If true, it could mean that the upcoming iPad and iPhone can compete with the likes of Samsung’s stylus-toting 5-inch Galaxy Note.
The news arose following a patent filing by the Californian firm, which was announced by the United States Patent & Trademark Office last week.
According to the Apple-dedicated site Patently Apple, the iPen could potentially be "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."
The site also claims the iPen will host “haptic feedback” capabilities, meaning users may feel a slight vibration if they’re applying too much or not enough pressure while drawing, for example.
“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.
“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.”
The purported solar-powered iPen is also rumoured to rock numerous sensors that will allow it to respond to touch gestures.
iPad 4: Rumours
Rumour has it Apple is gearing up to launch a second tablet in 2012, dubbed the iPad Mini. It’s believed the iPad Mini will be a 7-inch replica of its iPad 3 sibling and will sport the same pin-sharp display as the third-gen tablet.
However, whether the iPen will land on the iPad Mini or the iPad 4 next year remains to be seen.
A release date for the iPad Mini is yet to be formally announced, however, rumour has it the fourth-generation slate could land in October, alongside the purported iPhone 5.
Watch our new iPad 3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note video below