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

67 Comments

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

    i don’t know.

    how long did MS fail to bring real web browsing to the cell phone? never really caught on did it?

    maybe Apple should drop that whole “iPhone” thing i have heard rumors about……

  2. keyboard shaped touch device on the way….. touch screen mac isn’t going to happen. Tablet, maybe. There will not be a need for a single screen only computer. The idea is ridiculous. could you imagine, you would have to stand or sit at the device. Motion sensitive later on, buy touch imput device is on the way, in multiple configs.

    iCal it.

  3. What’s with the bitchy “MacDailyNews Take” retort after every other paragraph? Reisinger isn’t slamming Apple, no need to get all defensive. MDN seems to get touchy when anyone insinuates that Apple is a minority platform. A great platform, of course, but a minority.
    As to the first comment: It’s easy to grow fast when your market share is in the single digits.
    And as to the second: Reisinger envisions a world where Apple’s great design becomes the majority. Right now Mac computers are a boutique, higher end product. We have seen from all the copycat attempts of the iPod and iPhone that Apple is continuously raising the bar of product design, and thus raise the mainstream to ever higher levels of experience.

  4. I had thought this would be an interesting option, until I tried out HPs touchscreen desktop system. It became quickly obvious that on most desks, this would be ‘neat’ for the first day, and then the mouse and keyboard would take over.

    Reaching out and touching the screen for periods of time will make you VERY tired.

    So for a general purpose machine, I think it’s useless, but for specific applications (kiosks, tradeshows) itcould be useful.

  5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I think a multitouch input surface would be awesome.

    Imagine a keyboard sized pad that displays a keyboard. Then when you go into an Audio app, a virtual mixing board shows up. In FCP, a jog/shuttle control, etc.

  6. Quad Core, “Reaching out and touching the screen for periods of time will make you VERY tired.”

    So you get VERY tired when you read a book that’s on your desk or lap? Just sit back in your easy chair with this ‘thingy’ on your knees.

  7. There is NO way Apple is going to make an iMac-like system with multi-touch. Jobs and Ive are way to savvy to attempt an ergonomic disaster such as that just to apply their new technology to the Mac. I do think we are going to see some convergence of iPhone and Mac technologies in a new breed of computers, but maybe this line won’t even be called “Macintosh”. Almost 25 years later we forget that there were other computer lines at Apple before the Mac. Why not a new line of touch-based computers (done right) introduced on the 25th Anniversary of the Mac?

  8. I’m amazed at the lack of ability to think outside the present user interface paradigms.

    When you are writing something into a notebook, does that notebook stand upright at your desk, at your eyes’ height, about an arm’s length away from you? Who in their sane mind would ever want to put a touchscreen display upright???

    For millions of years, humans have been working directly on the objects of their work. Cutting, pounding, slicing, grinding, polishing, writing, drawing; they used hand tools and interacted directly with those objects. Then, some fourty years ago, someone cooked up this counter-intuitive, completely awkward system whereby you would press buttons on some device (they called it ‘keyboard’, just like those musical keyboards), and something seemingly completely unrelated would happen on a glowing surface some feet away. Somehow, over the years, we all learned to correlate these two events and use this totally unintuitive concept. Generations of humans are now capable of rather quickly learning to work on one device and receive feedback on another.

    (Multi)Touch screens will bring back the most intuitive way to work. We’ll have 24″ (or 30″) studio display – sized screens which will be lying on our desks (perhaps not much unlike the ‘Big-ass Table’), with which we’ll interact the way our great-grandfathers used to interact with work on their desks. Zero learning curve.

    If anyone wishes to do any iCal-ing, here’s one for you: In five years, Apple’s entire computing line will be keyboardless and mouseless. From iPhone, all the way to iMacs and Mac Pros, with 30″ displays. Mac OS X will still be OS X, and user interface will be as intuitive as iPhone OS X. And it will be nothing like Windows Tablet, or HP’s touch-screen computers. It will be done right.

  9. Well, vast majority of articles about Apple’s new products are based on guesses, since, as we all know very well, Apple doesn’t talk about their new products.

    This is perfectly valid type of journalism. It isn’t called reporting the news; it is called providing analysis and opinion.

  10. @shen

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

    Who cares? There is a huge difference. They may be “OS X,” but the interface is completely different between a Mac and iPhone. The interface is what makes Apple products succeed, and Apple is too smart to simply patch up the Mac desktop interface to work on a touchscreen computer. That’s Microsoft’s game.

  11. “Who cares? There is a huge difference. They may be “OS X,” but the interface is completely different between a Mac and iPhone. The interface is what makes Apple products succeed, and Apple is too smart to simply patch up the Mac desktop interface to work on a touchscreen computer. That’s Microsoft’s game.”

    which is exactly what predrag and i are both saying.

    over and over people pan the touch screen because the current interface model doesn’t work on it.

    did Apple use the current interface model for the iPhone? no. it wouldn’t work. so why do you all keep assuming they will use the current interface model for a touchpad style of working? that would be stupid. and people keep pointing it out….

    so why not use an interface that actually works on that style of system, and create a whole new model?

    they seem to be trying hard, but all the mindless zombies keep saying it will never work.

    ….i guess that is why they are doing it in little steps. so that some day you will all look back and see this as a natural evolution you where involved with rather than the reality. that you fought it every step of the way.

    what vision!

    new rule, none of you who totally fail to have even enough imagination to consider this can ever make fun of Bill Gates again. after all, you all seem to think just like him!

  12. I’ve been reading some other articles on possible Apple tablets that was posted on the internet today. Just google for em if you want to read.
    Its looking more and more like the great iTablet or MacTouch will be debuting at MacWorld 09. This september will be about ipods for sure and quite possibly new macbooks. No tablet in 2008. 🙁
    Oh well, most of the year is gone already so we might as well sit tight till MacWorld. OMGZ I can’t waittttttt but for some reason I’m enjoying the torture! 😀

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