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Rumor mill: While fans have long hailed Apple's MacBooks as the best laptops you can buy, they still lack a feature offered by many Windows alternatives: a touchscreen. But according to a new report, that's going to change.
For many years, Apple has taken the stance that touchscreens and laptops don't go together---Cupertino will happily point you toward its iPad line for that functionality. However, according to a report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple engineers are actively engaged in a project to add touchscreens to Macs.
According to anonymous people familiar with the plans, the first touch-capable Macs, which might also work with gestures, could arrive in 2025 as part of a larger update to the MacBook Pro. The revamp may also see the laptops switch from their current Mini LED screens to OLEDs. According to Gurman, the same display tech will come to the iPad Pro in the first half of 2024.
The late Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was completely against clamshell laptops offering touchscreen functionality. "Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical," he said in 2010. "After an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off; it's ergonomically terrible." Successor Tim Cook echoed the same view in 2012, comparing touchscreens in laptops with combining a toaster and refrigerator. More recently, Apple senior VP Craig Federighi said he is "not into touchscreens."
Apple could still rethink its plans for touchscreen Macs. The company has experimented in this area before with the Touch Bar, which was introduced in the MacBook Pros in 2016 but phased out of the 14- and 16-inch models in 2021 after failing to find much love from consumers---though it's still part of the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Apple is rumored to be planning several revamps of its hardware in the coming years. Gurman this week also claimed that Apple would bring more of its components in-house by designing MicroLED screens for use in its devices starting with the Apple Watch, potentially as soon as next year, before the tech appears in iPhones.
We also heard this week that Apple is working on an in-house all-in-one cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth chip to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm and Broadcom.