Apple may have shunned the stylus for the iPhone, but its all about pen-based input on tablets. It's just filed a patent application for tech that improves digital ink recognition by breaking down strokes and phrases.
A system comprising: a pen-based input tablet configured to collect and organize received ink information into ink strokes.
"Upon the occurrence of an ink phrase termination event, the ink manager notifies the handwriting recognition engine and organizes the preceding ink strokes into an ink phrase data structure...The present invention, in large part, relates to the observation that client applications and handwriting recognition software in pen-based computer systems can make far more accurate ink-related decisions based on entire ink phrases, rather than individual ink strokes."
I'm thinking a possible Apple tablet would still be a finger-based multi-touch device, but this seems to suggest Apple is also thinking about the note taking side of things, as well. Either way, tablets are mentioned all over the application…one step closer to Jesus' wet dream? [USPTO via Unwired View]