As first reported by Bloomberg, Apple allegedly plans to add touchscreens to its MacBooks. This news comes as a big surprise to Mac-Book lovers, because Apple has long believed that touchscreens and laptops cannot work together. Apparently, the company has changed its minds over the years.
According to the Bloomberg report, Apple engineers are already actively working on the development of touch screens for Macs.
The goal is supposedly to launch the first Mac with a touchscreen in two years in the form of a new MacBook Pro with an OLED screen.
Apple wants to switch to touchscreens
Apparently, Apple plans to see the MacBook Pro retain its clamshell design with a trackpad and keyboard, and that the touchscreen could be used in other models later. According to sources, the screen would work with both touch input and gestures, similar to Apple’s tablets and smartphones.
OLED would also be a big step. Apple’s 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros use mini-LED technology, but haven’t yet made the move to OLED, which is found in many touch-enabled Windows notebooks. Bloomberg claims that OLED will also be available for the iPad Pro as early as next year.
Theoretically, the introduction of touchscreens to Mac should be quite an effort, since macOS would also have to be retooled for larger touch targets. But some of the work is already done: Apple already allows developers to bring iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac, so these should be great examples of how to develop other software.
Apple has changed its mind
Apple’s Steve Jobs used to rant about touchscreens and was an open anti-fan. Here’s what he said 13 years ago:
“Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical. It gives a great demo but after a short period of time, you start to fatigue. And after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work.”
Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has also said that touch would not work with a clamshell laptop. If you want touch, you should get an iPad – at least that was Apple’s stance.
But Apple develops its laptops based on its own silicon, so it looks like the company may be rethinking some of those earlier ideas. If Bloomberg’s sources are correct and a Mac with a touchscreen comes along, it would offer capabilities that many of the best ultrabooks running Windows have had for years.
Apple has offered a tiny touchscreen — the Touch Bar — on the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro before, but that didn’t go over well with Apple users.