Here’s why Apple will never give MacBook a touchscreen

By

macbook pro
The new MacBook Pro is stunner.
Photo: Apple

Desktop computers aren’t going away any decade soon. Not if Jony Ive and Phil Schiller have to say anything about it.

In an interview with Ive, Schiller and Magic Man Craig Federighi, Apple’s team of vets explain that they don’t plan to ever morph the iPad and Mac together to make a Frankenstein desktop tablet like the Surface Studio.


Jony Ive insists that a touchscreen on the Mac wouldn’t be “particularly useful” in the CNet interview that reveals the new Touch Bar was in development for two years.

No TouchBook Pro

“We did spend a great deal of time looking at this a number of years ago and came to the conclusion that to make the best personal computer, you can’t try to turn MacOS into an iPhone,” Schiller says. “Conversely, you can’t turn iOS into a Mac…. So each one is best at what they’re meant to be — and we take what makes sense to add from each, but without fundamentally changing them so they’re compromised.”

The new Touch Bar appears to be Apple’s first bridge, of sorts, between iOS and macOS. By adding dynamic keys, the Touch Bar makes apps more touch-friendly and easier to navigate. A touch-based version of macOS may seem like the inevitable step, but Schiller says it would be wreck.

“It is great to provide two different ways to solve some of the same things, but they also do very unique things that the other doesn’t,” said Phil Schiller. “Having them separate allows us to explore both, versus trying to force them into one — and only one — model.”

Despite killing the idea of touchscreen MacBook, Jony Ive teased that the new feature marks the beginning of some exciting new forms of computing.

“We didn’t want to just create a speed bump on the MacBook Pro,” he says. “In our view this is a big, big step forward. It is a new system architecture, and it allows us to then create many things to come, things that we can’t envision yet.”