In a report that could turn Steve Jobs in his grave, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote Wednesday that Apple is working on a MacBook Pro with a touchscreen, an input method the company long thought was far from ideal.
According to anonymous sources, the first Mac with a touchscreen could appear in 2025 as part of a larger MacBook Pro update. The laptop would still have a keyboard and trackpad, but the touchscreen “would support touch input and gestures just like an iPhone or iPad.” Also, the touchscreens would use OLED technology, an upgrade from current LCD screens.
An earlier message from Ming Chi Kuo claimed Apple’s first MacBooks with OLED displays could arrive as early as next year.
Gurman’s report says macOS will “probably” be used on these first touchscreen Macs, and that the company is not working on combining macOS and iPadOS. However, Gurman doesn’t say whether macOS would be updated with UI elements that are more touch-friendly. Gurman does say that the current ability to use iPhone apps on a Mac is “a frustrating experience” due to the lack of touch input, which makes it sound like the future touchscreen implementation might be intended to be used with running iPhone and iPad devices. apps on the Mac.
With the M1 system on a chip and macOS Big Sur, Apple introduced the ability to run iOS/iPadOS apps on the Mac, though the experience is more of a convenience than an everyday feature. Most people still use Mac apps for work, which are built to work with a cursor and use familiar elements that are mouse and trackpad friendly.
PC makers have had touchscreen laptops for years, and releasing a touchscreen MacBook would be a major philosophical change for the company. The late Steve Jobs was vocal about his aversion to touchscreens, once saying that “your arm wants to fall off” after using one. Tim Cook carried that torch in the early days of his tenure as CEO, saying during an earnings call in 2012, “You can put a toaster and refrigerator together, but it won’t please the user,” when asked if Apple had done that. plans for a touchscreen laptop.
Times are changing, though, and Gurman points out that Apple’s Craig Federighi said, “Who’s to say?” when asked about a touchscreen Mac during a recent interview with Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal. (Though it should be pointed out that Federighi makes the answer a schtick to the rapid-fire questions Stern asks in that part of the interview.)