Apple Inc. is developing touch displays for its Mac computers, breaking long-standing business tradition and adopting a design philosophy that co-founder Steve Jobs once called “ergonomically horrible.”
According to insiders familiar with the project, Apple engineers are actively working on it, which suggests that the corporation is seriously considering creating touch-screen Macs for the first time. Even so, a launch has not been scheduled, and things could change.
The business has argued for more than ten years that touch screens don’t function well on laptops and that if someone wants a touch interface, the iPad is a superior choice. Apple has also been concerned that touch-screen Macs may have a negative impact on the sales of the iPad.
But competitors are increasingly equipping computers with touch screens, which puts pressure on Apple to follow suit. The firm now generates more revenue than the iPad thanks to the recent Mac revival, and the corporation wants to maintain a competitive PC selection.
According to the individuals, who requested anonymity because the plans are private, the business may release its first touch-screen Mac in 2025 as part of a wider update to the MacBook Pro.
Apple’s spokesman in Cupertino, California, declined to respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, Apple shares increased 2.1% to $133.49. In 2023 so far, the stock has increased 2.7%.
It is anticipated that Apple’s maiden touch-screen MacBook Pro will feature a traditional laptop form with a trackpad and keyboard. However, like an iPhone or iPad, the laptop’s screen would accept touch input and gestures. Apple might eventually add touch functionalities to upcoming Mac models.
Apple also intends to switch its displays to an organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, technology as part of the MacBook Pro makeover. Apple presently employs liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for its Macs, although OLED is already used in iPhones and Apple Watches. In the first half of 2024, such screens, which offer better brightness and colour, will also be available for the iPad Pro.
Moving forward with the touch-screen Mac would be a huge about-face. The late Jobs claimed that it “doesn’t work” for computer users to reach up and touch an upright screen.
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In 2010, he stated, “Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical.” “After a while, your arm wants to come off,” the speaker said. Tim Cook, Jobs’s replacement as CEO, has held a similar view in recent years. He claimed in 2012 that combining tablets and laptops by Microsoft Corp. was like combining a toaster and a refrigerator.
Touch displays have advanced significantly across Apple’s laptop rivals, including Dell Technologies Inc., HP Inc., Microsoft, Lenovo Group Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co., and Acer Inc. Apple is currently the only significant computer manufacturer to provide such a product still not.
There have also been overt indications that Apple is thinking about changing its strategy.
The business began combining its programmes in 2018, bringing iPad apps to the Mac. It did the same for apps created by outside developers the following year. The business began allowing iPhone apps to run on its PCs in 2020. However, that change has drawn attention to Mac’s lack of touch capabilities. Using an app created for the iPhone on a Mac can be difficult.