Apple now has engineers “actively engaged in the project” of adding touchscreens to Mac computers, starting with the popular MacBook Pro. According to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, a consistent and reliable leaker, the first Mac with a touchscreen display could ship as soon as 2025.
The product is evidently still being tested internally, with no definitive plans for a product launch set in motion.
A touchscreen MacBook Pro might be on the way
Gurman says this new feature would be a part of a “larger update to the MacBook Pro” that also would include moving to an OLED display panel. This news comes on the tail of reports that Apple is developing its own OLED displays, set to launch around the same time frame (and potentially on Apple Watch Ultra).
The latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, launched in late 2021, brought a landmark redesign to Apple’s high-end laptops. It marked the introduction of higher-end Apple silicon chips and the return of plentiful ports to the flagship notebook. One of the highlights was a new edge-to-edge display with a notch — an LCD panel without any touch sensitivity.
As new as the current models feel, they should be due for a refresh around 2025.
A big change in direction
Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook both previously insisted that tablets are tablets and computers are computers. Jobs once said internal testing of touchscreen Macs showed that “after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work; it’s ergonomically terrible.” Later, Cook derisively compared Microsoft’s hybrid Surface devices to a combination refrigerator-toaster.
Yet, Apple hasn’t been afraid to experiment with the iPad. Apple itself created the keyboard/trackpad accessory that gives the tablet a laptop-like experience, complete with an on-screen cursor. And the latest version of iPadOS includes Stage Manager, a Mac-like multitasking interface complete with free-floating windows and support for external displays.
Even so, Apple is not working to combine the iPad and Mac platforms or operating systems, according to Gurman’s sources. The first touchscreen Macs will continue to use macOS.