Teams within the company are actively engaged in developing and adding touch screens to Apple’s MacBook Pro with the product being considered for release as early as 2025, according to Bloomberg.
Leading computer makers, including Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft have all produced laptops with touchscreen capabilities.
Apple remains the only major computer manufacturer that hasn’t experimented with touch screens for its laptops.
Even as recently as 2021, the tech giant’s marketing executive Tom Boger said while the iPad is the world’s “best touch computer”, the Mac is “totally optimized for direct input”.
He said then that Apple didn’t have a need to change this approach to bring touchscreens to the Mac.
In 2012, Apple’s chief Tim Cook even compared fusing tablet and laptop display features was akin to combining a toaster with a refrigerator.
The tech giant’s head of software Craig Federighi had also said in 2018 that he was “not into touchscreens” for PCs.
“We really feel that the ergonomics of using a Mac are that your hands are rested on a surface, and that lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do,” he had explained.
But now, Apple’s Mac sales have seen a surge – generating over $40bn in revenue in 2022 – after the company replaced its Intel processors with its own chips, helping improve battery life in its computers.
As the Mac business is turning into a bigger earner for the company than the iPad, it appears Apple is seeking to keep its computers as competitive in features as possible to those of its competitors.
Bloomberg reports that Apple’s first revamped MacBook Pro with the new design is expected to include its standard trackpad and keyboard, with the addition of a screen supporting touch input and gestures like in an iPhone or iPad.
For this change, Apple is reportedly planning to move from LCDs – liquid crystal displays – on its Macs to organic light-emitting diode, or OLED technology.
But despite these developments, the company is reportedly still not actively working to combine the iPad and Mac operating systems.