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There already is a Pencil for iPad, but its maker thinks there's room for Apple's stylus too

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The guys at FiftyThree can't catch a break. First Facebook named its biggest and best app Paper, copying the name of FiftyThree's earlier iPad drawing app, and now Apple has named its new stylus a Pencil, just like the iPad accessory FiftyThree already sells.

We reached out to the company, which is growing increasingly reliant on hardware sales of its Pencil for its income, to ask how it will react to Apple's new launch. The answer is equivocal, as it neither derides nor entirely welcomes the Apple Pencil:

Every Pencil needs Paper. We’re excited to launch the all-new Paper on iPhone and iPad tomorrow, after which creative thinkers everywhere will see their phones and their ideas in a new light. We believe pen-and-touch input is the foundation for a new type of productivity geared towards creative thinking. Our and Apple’s products open up these tools to even more people, which we support. We at FiftyThree are excited to reveal where we think the next chapter of productivity is headed.

There will be a well-timed response from FiftyThree, which already announced plans to make its debut on the iPhone this Thursday. The company will naturally support Apple's Stylus with its software — and Apple is reciprocating by featuring FiftyThree's Paper on its iPad Pro pages — but it will also endeavor to establish a foothold for itself on the iPhone. That effort is accompanied by a $10 discount on the FiftyThree Pencil at present, which means it now starts at $39.95 — significantly cheaper than Apple's $99 accessory. The hope for FiftyThree will be that it can carve out a new niche for itself as the foremost iPhone stylus option, the best note-taking app, and the cheaper iPad Pencil alternative. Though Apple really isn't making any of that easy.

Verge Video: iPad Pro hands on