In what would be a rather surprising reversal, Apple is currently working on bringing touchscreens to Mac computers, Bloomberg reports. According to Mark Gurman, Apple’s engineers are “actively engaged in the project,” which suggests that the company is finally getting serious about building non-portable touchscreen devices for the first time in its history.
As Gurman notes, Apple has never entertained the idea of touchscreen Macs. The company has said that touchscreens are better suited for tablets, such as the iPad, and Steve Jobs once called touchscreen laptops “ergonomically terrible.”
Meanwhile, touchscreen laptops have become increasingly common, and now that Apple’s Macs generate more revenue than the iPad, the company needs to keep its computers fresh. Adding a touchscreen interface would certainly get people talking.
Bloomberg’s sources claim that the first touchscreen Mac could launch in 2025 “as part of a larger update to the MacBook Pro” line. The touchscreen MacBook Pro would feature a traditional laptop design, with the same trackpad and keyboard as the standard models. The only difference will be a display with support for touch input and gestures.
In addition to the touchscreens, Apple is also planning to move its displays to OLED technology. Currently, Apple equips its MacBooks with LCD displays, but the company is gradually shifting to OLED. iPhones and Apple Watches already ship with OLED displays, and the first iPad Pro with an OLED display is reportedly set to launch in 2024.
Despite Apple’s sudden about-face on touchscreen computers, the report suggests that Apple still doesn’t plan to merge the iPad and Mac operating systems. The first touchscreen Macs will likely run on macOS, while Apple will continue to update iPadOS separately.
As always, Apple could opt to cancel this project before it ever sees the light of day. If it doesn’t live up to Apple’s standards, the touchscreen Mac won’t launch.