It was only a couple of years back that the S-Pen didn't exist, and then Samsung announced the original Note 1 in October 2011. Critics have often stated that the S-Pen is a gimmick, a novelty that will wear off and be of no use in the long-term. Everyone had previously thought the stylus was a thing of the past, with the stylus being (prematurely) laid to waste by the late Steve Jobs, who went so far as to say:
"It's like we said on the iPad, if you see a stylus, they blew it."
Samsung has since proved those words wrong, with the original Note 1 proving to be a hit with Android consumers, bowled over by the functionality of the S-Pen, which was improved with the release of the Note 2, and now we have the Note 3 with Air Command. The S-Pen isn't a smartphone only feature, Samsung have released 3 tablets that feature the S-Pen, the Note 10.1, the Note 8.0 and most recently, the Note 10.1 2014 edition.
Samsung is also rumoured to be preparing to release a monster-sized Note 12.2 in the near future. Other manufacturers are playing catch-up, with both Nvidia and Pantech releasing devices with stylus support, but for the foreseeable future (6 months in Android time, until the next big thing is released) Samsung is on top of their game, virtually the only game in town if you require a stylus with smart functions and app support..
The very nice infographic below depicts the history of the S-Pen, starting with a brief history of the humble pen.
So what do you think? Is the S-Pen just a novelty, a gimmick whose usefulness wears off with time? Or is it a feature that you look for in a device, would the lack of S-Pen support be a deal-breaker for you when purchasing a new device?
Let us know in the comments or at our Google Plus page.