It's ironic, really. In the era of Steve Jobs, Apple created a multitouch display for the first iPhone... and changed society forever. As a result, in 2023 we primarily access the web on our phones, and primarily using touch. Yet, when it comes to laptops, Apple has been purposely lagging behind.
And that baffles my brain. Indeed, I'm writing right now on a Dell Latitude 9410, which does have a touchscreen. Because while I'd dearly love to use a MacBook, the muscle memory of mixing up typing with touch has become deeply engrained, and has made me so much more productive.
In turn, whenever I borrow someone else's non-touchscreen laptop, I find myself uselessly stabbing at the display, and screaming in frustration.
Apple is the company that famously produces kit that "just works". So it seems super-weird they've resisted touchscreens, which are common on Windows and Chromebooks alike. But thankfully, it seems that's about to change.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is now working on adding touchscreens to its computers, and it says the company could launch a touch-enabled Mac as early as 2025, as part of a larger update to the MacBook Pro. It will still look like a normal laptop, with a standard trackpad and keyboard, and run macOS rather than iPadOS... but with the added joy of being able to use touch and swipe gestures on the display.
The report adds that Apple is also planning to move its Mac displays from LCD (liquid crystal display) to OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, which it already uses on iPhones (other than the iPhone SE) and Apple Watches, and which are generally brighter and more colourful. OLED is also expected to arrive on the next model of iPad Pro in early 2024.
It's fascinating to see Apple entertaining fresh ideas about what a MacBook can be, and the company that makes both the iPhone and iPad is perfectly placed to create a stellar touchscreen laptop experience. Quite simply, I can't wait!
In the meantime, though, if you need a MacBook now, check out our comprehensive guide to the best MacBook you can buy in 2023.