iPhone 6 Concept Video dubbed iPhone Air
An Apple stylus could include an extendable nib that interacts with the iPhone 6 or iPad Pro's multitouch display. Screengrab/YouTube

"We're going to use a stylus," Steve Jobs famously announced when unveiling Apple's first iPhone in 2007.

He was answered by a single cheer from the audience, before continuing: "No. Who wants a stylus? You have to get them and put them away and you lose them, yuck. Nobody wants a stylus."

Now Apple may be rethinking its position on the stylus after a patent application for an Input Device Having Extendable Nib was spotted by Apple Insider.

Much more than a simple plastic pointer, the new device would feature an extendable nib capable of interacting with the touchscreen displays on Apple's tablets and smartphones.

Extending the "multitouch" nib could allow users to use the stylus more like a paintbrush than a pen, flexing as it touches the screen to interact with the surface.

Apple Stylus
iPhone 6 or iPad Pro devices could feature an 'iStylus' capable of behaving more like a paintbrush than a pen. USPTO

According to one design featured in the patent filing, extending the nib further would expose more "nodes" or sensors on its side. This would allow the stylus to register different inputs, such as thicker lines, different colours and variable opacity.

A button placed further up the stylus could be used to extend the nib or possibly even to change its function.

Rumours of an Apple produced stylus have begun to grow in recent months, with the Patently Apple blog reporting over 20 related patents.

Apple stylus extendable
Extending the nib would expose more nodes on its side, allowing different inputs to be registered. Apple Insider/ USPTO