Apple is reportedly working on touchscreen MacBooks. Although the plans aren’t finalized, Bloomberg’s sources say that touch-friendly Apple laptops could arrive in 2025.
For a company that has made a point of saying that touch is better on a product like the iPad, a touchscreen MacBook would be a big change — but don’t expect a wild departure from traditional Apple laptop design. The alleged touchscreen MacBook Pro would “likely” still run macOS and include a standard trackpad and keyboard. But, similar to Windows laptops and 2-in-1s, it would incorporate display taps and gestures. The report says Apple may expand the touch input to include other Mac models over time, but it isn’t currently planning on combining macOS and iPadOS. (One can surmise that fear of cannibalizing iPad sales has been a factor in holding out this long.)
Additionally, the report reiterates that Apple is shifting its Mac displays to OLED as part of a broader MacBook Pro overhaul. Current Macs have LCDs, while iPhones (except for the iPhone SE) and Apple Watches use OLED displays.
Apple launched the Touch Bar in 2016 as a half measure towards full touchscreen capabilities on MacBooks. The strip above the keyboard included system and in-app shortcuts, spelling suggestions and other touch-friendly inputs. But it was never embraced by developers or Apple’s most loyal customers, and it was removed from Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro redesign.
Although much has been made of Steve Jobs’s insistence that touchscreens don’t belong on Macs, this wouldn’t be the first time the company has evolved in ways that go against “the gospel of Steve.” For example, he mocked big iPhones, small tablets and iPad styluses; today, Apple will happily sell you an iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPad mini and Apple Pencil. Although Jobs’s vision is very much instilled in the company’s DNA, the computing world has changed slightly since 2011.