Apple is apparently planning a reversal for one of its long-held beliefs on the Mac. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple has teams of engineers actively working on touchscreen Macs. It could release a new MacBook Pro with touchscreen support as soon as 2025.
Apple mulls reversing course on touchscreen Macs
Thus far, Apple has resisted bringing touchscreens to the Mac lineup. Steve Jobs was famously opposed to the idea. Jobs called it an “ergonomically terrible” idea. “Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical,” he said in 2010, around the time of the iPad’s introduction. “After an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off.”
More recently in 2021, Apple marketing executive Tom Boger explained that the iPad is the world’s “best touch computer” and the Mac is “totally optimized for direct input.”
At the time, Boger said Apple didn’t have a reason to change that and bring touchscreen capabilities to the Mac. Apparently, things have now changed, and Apple thinks it’s time to consider a touchscreen Mac.
Touchscreen MacBook Pro in the works
As part of this effort, the company is testing a MacBook Pro with touchscreen capabilities. Apple is considering releasing this as soon as 2025, but there are ongoing deliberations inside the company that could impact that timeline.
The MacBook Pro revamp being tested inside Apple retains a “traditional laptop design” that includes a standard trackpad and keyboard. The difference, of course, is that the screen would “support touch input and gestures – just like an iPhone and iPad.”
If the company decides to move forward with launching touchscreen Macs, Bloomberg says that the technology could eventually expand to other models in the lineup as well.
As part of the MacBook Pro revamp, Apple is also planning to move its displays to organic light-emitting diode, or OLED technology. The company currently uses LCDs — liquid crystal displays — on its Macs, but iPhones and Apple Watches already rely on OLED. Those screens offer improved brightness and color and will also come to the iPad Pro in the first half of 2024.
Despite Apple’s apparent work on touchscreen Macs, the company still “isn’t actively working to combine the iPad and Mac operating systems.”
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