KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 ― It’s well known that Apple has resisted adding a touchscreen to a Mac for years, despite a concerted move in the opposite direction by rival manufacturers. The company has worked hard to keep the Mac and iPad lines separate, even as it endeavoured to make the latter more and more like a laptop with increasingly complicated keyboard cases and multitasking UIs.
But Cupertino’s traditionally rock-hard stance appears to be shifting. According to Bloomberg’s respected Apple analyst Mark Gurman, the company is serious about producing a touchscreen MacBook, as engineers are actively engaged in the project. Having traded places with the iPad in terms of sales in the beginning, the Mac business has consistently led the tablet for years, and there’s pressure on the conventional computer side to keep making money.
Gurman said that based on current internal discussions, Apple is considering introducing its first touchscreen Mac as part of a major redesign in 2025. This will also reportedly involve a switch from the current mini LED displays to OLED panels, matching the iPhones and Apple Watches.
The move towards touchscreens would represent a major U-turn for Apple, which famously detested laptop touchscreens. Back in 2010, when the iPad was new, the late Steve Jobs flat out stated that touchscreens on laptops “doesn’t work,” calling them “ergonomically terrible” and preferring multi-touch trackpads for enabling gestures. “Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical,” he said. “After an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off.”
Instead, Apple doubled down on improving its laptop trackpads, making them larger and more responsive. It also introduced the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro in 2016, which promptly launched to lukewarm reviews and lacked the developer support to be successful. The company began phasing out the Touch Bar starting with the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2021.
A touchscreen MacBook would not only bring a more iOS-like user experience but also enables it to work better with iPhone and iPad apps. Macs with Apple Silicon are able to use the latter, but, as you can imagine, using them on a non-touchscreen computer can be clunky to say the least. ― SoyaCincau