Apple is reportedly working on its first Macs with touchscreens, which would mark a 180° on what the company has been saying about touchscreen PCs for years. According to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the company’s plans, Apple could launch its first touchscreen Mac in 2025 as part of a revamped MacBook Pro lineup.
“The current work calls for Apple’s first touch-screen MacBook Pro to retain a traditional laptop design, including a standard trackpad and keyboard. But the laptop’s screen would support touch input and gestures — just like an iPhone or iPad. Over time, Apple could expand touch support to more of its Mac models,” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote.
Before Tim Cook infamously compared 2-in-1 PCs like Microsoft’s Surface Pro as combining a toaster with a refrigerator, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained why touchscreens made no sense on Macs. This was during Apple’s Back to the Mac event in the fall of 2010, where Apple unveiled its redesigned MacBook Air.
“Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical,” Jobs argued. “It gives great a demo, but after a short period of time, your start to fatigue and after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work, it’s ergonomically terrible,” Jobs continued.
With Apple Silicon Macs now being capable of running iPad and iPhone apps, it does make more sense for Apple to bring touch capabilities to macOS. Actually, it may be easier for Apple to optimize macOS for touch than to make iPadOS better suited for power users.
The Stage Manager multitasking feature that Apple introduced on iPadOS 16 last year received a polarized reception, and it didn’t appease people who desperately want Apple to ship an iPad running macOS instead of iPadOS. Well, Apple adding a touchscreen to Macs could finally make everyone happy.
Adding a touchscreen wouldn’t be the only upgrade that Apple is planning for the MacBook Pro: Gurman also reported that Apple is looking to replace its LCD screen with an OLED screen. Apple already uses OLED screens on its iPhones and Apple Watches, and the iPad Pro is also expected to be updated with an OLED screen in 2024 according to Gurman.