Apple recently patented an accessory known at an active stylus that is similar to the S Pen found on the Galaxy Note and Note 2.
The Active Stylus functions differently from the S Pen, as Samsung's accessory basically works by blocking electric lines to input something on the touch screen. Apple's version would have the capacity to create its own electronic field and couple signals with the main device.
The technology could allow Apple to release a device with a stylus that has a greater speed and accuracy than many of the other devices found on the market.
Samsung's S Pen has been criticized for its lagging. But despite its issues, the accessory has become quite popular among users and Samsung could be considering implementing it on the Samsung Galaxy S4 when it is released.
Steve Jobs doubted the stylus when he introduced the original iPhone in 2007. He felt that all people needed was their fingers, but the stylus helps users who are looking to draw on their devices and functions as a virtual crayon or marker. A finger cannot be as precise as this little pen-like tool.
Apple's new Active Stylus could appear on a new Galaxy Note competitor in the near future. The company is expected to release a new iPhone this year and that can also be the place where it will be used.
Samsung will also most likely release the Galaxy Note 3 sometime this year, which is rumored to have a bigger screen than its predecessor. The two companies could have two new flagship devices to compete with in 2013 aside from the iPhone and Galaxy S if Apple ends up implementing this patented accessory on one of its new devices.