Apple is working on Macs with touchscreens, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. While it’s uncertain whether the devices will actually come to market, Gurman says in a tweet that we could see a touchscreen MacBook Pro as early as 2025. The report also notes that the screens may use OLED technology, as opposed to the Mini LED displays that are currently in the 14- and 16-inch models.
The project seems to be in relatively early stages, with engineers being “actively engaged,” according to the report. Gurman says that there are no final plans for launching touchscreen Macs and that plans could always change — we’ve seen Apple scrap projects before, and the company has made prototype Macs with touchscreens that never saw the light of day, according to Craig Federighi.
Gurman says the rumored MacBook Pro would include other updates but would more or less retain the same form factor as current models; you’d just be able to tap and gesture on the screen.
If this product does end up on store shelves, it would be a major reversal for the company. Apple has famously avoided adding touchscreens to its macOS devices, even as iPadOS flourished (and as it brought apps meant for touchscreens to its desktops). Steve Jobs famously criticized computers with touchscreens — as well as devices that use styluses — saying that they were “ergonomically terrible” when announcing the iPad.
Instead of adding touchscreens to laptops, Apple pursued a Touch Bar for Macs from 2016 until starting to phase it out with the release of redesigned 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros in 2021.
Since then, though, the tech has become commonplace on many Windows laptops, and a plethora of iPad accessories have basically turned the tablet into a MacBook. I’m unaware of any reports that people’s arms have fallen off from heavy touchscreen use but have found laptops with them to be convenient in many situations. With that said, I do think macOS will probably need a heavy refresh if it’s going to be used with a touchscreen; I can’t imagine trying to hit the current traffic light window controls or navigate the menu bar with my finger.