Apple refuses to add one of the most-wanted features to the MacBook

MacBook Air
(Image credit: Isaac Martin via Unsplash)

For all their innovations, one feature has been conspicuously missing from every MacBook of the last few years. The lack of a touch screen is frequently used as Mac-bashing ammunition by PC users (who have enjoyed them on Surface models for some time), but Apple has steadfastly refused to implement the tech. But now it has finally explained why.

In a new interview, Apple executives have defended the decision not to add a touchscreen to the company's laptops. And it seems the explanation is simple: there's an iPad for that. (Check out the best early Apple Black Friday deals if you're in the market for a Mac – or an iPad.)

iPad mini 6

Apple says the perfect touchscreen computer already exists (Image credit: Apple)

Addressing the question of why it hasn't implemented touch input,  John Ternus, Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, told The Wall Street Journal, "We make the world's best touch computer on an iPad. It's totally optimized for that. And the Mac is totally optimized for indirect input. We haven't really felt a reason to change that."

It's a curiously honest answer from Apple (which isn't exactly known for shedding light on its sales strategies), revealing that the company doesn't want the Mac to cannibalise iPad sales. Indeed, much like its recent defence of the controversial new MacBook Pro notch, this seems to show that Apple does indeed listen to what people say (read: moan about) online.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Rivals like the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 feature a touchscreen (Image credit: Microsoft)

And we'd say Apple has a point – the iPad is indeed the perfect touch screen device, especially when paired with the Apple Pencil. But with rivals like Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 showing what a touch-screen laptop/tablet-hybrid can do, and Intel making (admittedly cringe-worthy) digs at Apple's reluctance to go full touch, it's clear that there are some out there who'd prefer a MacBook 

Well, going by Apple's latest explanation, we'd say a touchscreen MacBook is very much not on the horizon. But don't worry, the new MacBook Pro is pretty incredible without one. We just hope you like notches. Check out today's best MacBook deals below, and be sure to visit our main Apple deals page for more brilliant offers. 

And we'd say Apple has a point – the iPad is indeed the perfect touch screen device, especially when paired with the Apple Pencil. But with rivals like Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 showing what a touch-screen laptop/tablet-hybrid can do, and Intel making (admittedly cringe-worthy) digs at Apple's reluctance to go full touch, it's clear that there are some out there who'd prefer a MacBook 

Well, going by Apple's latest explanation, we'd say a touchscreen MacBook is very much not on the horizon. But don't worry, the new MacBook Pro is pretty incredible without one. We just hope you like notches. Check out today's best MacBook deals below, and be sure to visit our main Apple deals page for more brilliant offers. 

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.