Despite the popularity of smartphones and tablets, it seems desktop and laptop computers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The fact is a laptop is still one of the most useful tools that allows you to get real work done with relative ease compared to a smartphone and a tablet. Of course, the big push lately has been hybrid devices. These devices include touchscreens and can convert from a laptop to a tablet and back again. But, if you take a closer look at the MacBook line of laptops, you will notice that there are no touchscreens despite the plethora of other touchscreen laptops on the market. That’s right, the company responsible for making touchscreens so popular today has yet to include it on their MacBooks. Why is that and will hey ever include touchscreens on MacBooks? Let’s try to answer that very question.
In an interview with CNET, you get the most telling explanation of why we haven’t seen a touchscreen on a MacBook, and from the sounds of things we never will. Phil Schiller, Marketing Chief for Apple, had this to say: “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 Touch Bar appears to be Apple’s answer to the touchscreen question The touch bar allows you to use some features in macOS much like you would on an iPad, but it’s not a complete touch interface, only enhancing the overall user experience. Many at Apple, including Jony Ive, believe that a touchscreen MacBook wouldn’t be “particularly useful,” despite many in their market hoping for Apple to release one.
At the end of the day, it seems Apple believes strongly in both platforms and thinks that both are useful in their own ways.“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.”
In many ways it seems Apple is worried about one of the devices overshadowing another, and they don’t want a touchscreen MacBook to take away from sales of their iPad line, a highly profitable line at that.
While Apple may be publicly committing to no touchscreens on their laptops, we all know in this business you never say never. As the world continues to shift to devices that offer both touchscreen interfaces as well as traditional keyboard and mouse interfaces, then Apple may be forced to include them on their devices if they hope to compete. But you never know. They could get away with never adding them as they rely on their brand to convince consumers to run out and buy a new MacBook and a new iPad whenever a new one is released.