Should Apple release a Multi-Touch™ touchscreen Mac?

“Apple is one of the major leaders in the multitouch space and yet, the company’s desire to bring a full-fledged touch-screen device to store shelves has stopped with the iPhone. In fact, the most it has done in bringing multitouch to its computers is offering the functionality in the track pad on its MacBook Air,” Don Reisinger writes for CNET.

“But simply offering multitouch on a trackpad isn’t enough to make consumers want to flock to Apple products instead of HP or Dell machines,” Reisinger writes.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Mac sales are currently growing at 20 times that of the PC industry, Don. That’s a considerable amount of flocking.

Reisinger continues, “Apple needs to embrace the fact that many people prefer touch-screen technology and create a Mac that offers the same basic functionality found in the iPhone.”

“Innovation has been a key to Apple’s success over the past decade and without it, the company would be nothing more than another computer vendor. But by releasing a Mac that eclipses the functionality of the tablet PC and fully harnesses the power of multitouch in a way that no one has seen before, Apple can create the computing world’s first iPhone-like success,” Reisinger writes. “And in the process, Apple could single-handedly propel the computing market forward into a new era where vanilla products are the exception and establish itself as the de facto leader in innovation.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is already firmly established as the de facto leader in innovation, Don. As has been the case since the company’s inception.

Reisinger continues, “So what would it look like? Ideally, the computer could be controlled with the touch screen and if you prefer, you can type on it as well. For those who aren’t so keen on typing on a virtual keyboard, Apple’s touch-screen Mac should sport a physical keyboard that can be slid out. In terms of aesthetics, I’ll leave that up to Apple–I think it has proven to be quite capable in designing handsome products.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: We are working to develop new products that contain technologies that our competition will not be able to match. I cannot discuss these new products, but we are very confident in our product pipeline.Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, during Apple’s Q308 Financial Results Conference Call, July 21, 2008


  1. If it’s a “Mac,” it should NOT be touchscreen. The Mac’s “desktop” interface is optimized for using a keyboard and mouse. Apple will no doubt release a “tablet” computer, but it will be a scaled-up iPod touch, using the iPhone interface (after a few more revisions and enhancements).

  2. I’ve been saying that I think Apple’s big September product line announcement which was referred to in the last quarterly profits report will be multi-touch as a virtual keyboard.

    Using multi-touch on an iMac’s or iBook’s screen would be nice, but it’s completely impractical for input in most applications, like word processors, spreadsheets, financial apps, and even iTunes in its current state.

    Touch screen iMacs have been around for awhile as aftermarket changes, and while they weren’t multi-touch, they are niche products. It’s simply not practical to have a vertical screen and try to work on your documents.

  3. Adding touch is fine. I like the facility it adds to my MBP.

    I do think that touch ‘only’ accomplishes many of the functions we need to have a fully featured computer with essentially no keyboard.

    The essential added interface, as far as I can see, is voice recognition.

    Any computer without the ability to take dictation is useless to most of us. The true ability to take dictation requires heuristics that computers are not able to muster yet.

    A keyboard of some sort will always be required in any case but should not necessarily be built into a ‘tablet’ form factor but offered as a plug-in/wireless device. There should be a virtual keyboard, though, for mobility, not for inputting my doctoral thesis.

  4. I LOVE fingerprints and smudges on my monitor! It makes seeing and working SO much easier.

    Sorry, but tablet computers have never really taken off. They can be perfect for certain vertical niche markets, but not as a general computing platform.

    How many times has Microsoft tried defining, really just RENAMING, tablet computing platform specs? And how many times has it failed to catch on?

    Even with Apple’s Mac OS X iPhone/touch platform there’s a limit as to what can be done with fingers gesturally. The next steps in speed and accuracy, unfortunately at this time, involve a stylus and a keyboard (for text entry).

    Voice recognition works in some environments, but none that are public or involve working in group environments.

    Gestural, touch-based computing has a ton of promise and Apple is really about the only player to watch to dfefine the next great interface breakthrough.

  5. I’m ready to buy a Mac tablet – 12” x 9”, able to rotate from landscape to portrait, touch enabled with virtual keyboard, plus ability to use existing Mac wireless keyboards. With Kindle and other book reading capabilities. Of course with full OSX.

    Glossy screen optional. Hahahahaha.

  6. Unless I’m getting cash from an ATM, I’m not a big fan of touchscreens. There’s the ergonomic/repetitive-stress issue of possible shoulder, elbow, and wrist to consider as well as fingerprints on the screen. I do a lot of Photoshop and fingerprints on the monitor would not be an enhancement.

  7. Looks obvious that having a “traditionally standing” screen as multi-touch device would be a flat nonsense anyway.
    Maybe a 30 or 45° surface could be nice… yet not so many professional apps would take advantage of that technology by now.

  8. “If it’s a “Mac,” it should NOT be touchscreen. The Mac’s “desktop” interface is optimized for using a keyboard and mouse. Apple will no doubt release a “tablet” computer, but it will be a scaled-up iPod touch, using the iPhone interface (after a few more revisions and enhancements).”

    you say tomato, or rather desktop vs tablet, and i say “who cares they are all running OS X.

    the important difference between the desktop and the laptop and the as yet to offered tablet and the iphone/touch are pretty small compared to the overall picture. if they offer something in between the touch and macbook, in all details, they may have a winner.

    if they offered a 7 to 8 inch touch screen, with more power and memory than the touch, but less than a macbook, and it got “touch” versions of things like keynote and pages, but could also run the iPhone apps like remote, they may have a winner.

    people like to talk about finger prints and one poster mentions photoshop. this isn’t a desktop replacement people, anymore than the iPhone is. nor is it a phone replacement. it sits between them. talking about photoshop or repetitive motion is like talking about all the reasons a moped will never replace a 747. it totally misses the point of both devices.

    the headlines don’t help. if they give the iMac a multi-touch screen, it will at best be a semi-useful add-on. if they create a whole new device in the space between the laptop and the iphone, a space most companies don’t even know is there, they create a whole new and active market.

    think outside the box, skate to the puck, wake up.

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