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Apple today unveiled the Pencil, a sleek new $99 stylus designed for the iPad.

But for the past two years, a startup called FiftyThree already offered a stubby stylus designed for the iPad. And FiftyThree also named that stylus “Pencil.” FiftyThree’s stylus starts at $39.95.

We checked in with venture-backed FiftyThree to see what it had to say about the announcement. A spokesperson sent back this message, hinting at what the startup is doing next:

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.

It’s surprising to see such a muted response from FiftyThree, particularly when you consider the company’s reaction to Facebook’s Paper app — another generic app name first claimed by FiftyThree.

Naturally, we’ll keep following FiftyThree’s moves going forward.


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