MacPad: Apple predicted to release a Mac OS X tablet by 2018

“Apple’s official position may be that we don’t need an OS X/iOS hybrid tablet (which I’ve dubbed the MacPad), but I’m going out on a limb here and predicting we’ll see one by 2018,” Dennis Sellers writes for Apple World Today.

“Why? According to Gartner Inc., one-third of all laptops will ship with a touchscreen in that year,” Sellers writes. “The research group says that as incremental price for touch decreases, it will become more normalized as a default feature for notebooks.”

Sellers writes, “Certainly, Apple doesn’t follow the trends, but I’m still convinced we’ll see a MacPad. Now I’m setting a date: before the end of 2018.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve asked many times over the past few years: Anyone in the market for a 12.9-inch device that’s an OS X-powered MacBook when docked with its keyboard base and an iOS-powered iPad when undocked?

Illustration from Apple's hybrid Mac-iPad patent application
Illustration from Apple’s hybrid Mac-iPad patent application

MacPad? Apple patent application reveals hybrid MacBook+iPad details – April 4, 2013
Apple’s big secret: The iOS MacBook? – March 22, 2013
Tim Bajarin’s tech industry predictions for 2013 include hybrid Mac+iPad – December 14, 2012


  1. Dump the gdf keyboard – by 2018 Voice input should be superior to todays; and anyways, bluetooth enabled tools connect wirelessly already – this is so 70’s looking.

    People. The components for computing have shrunken down to the point where the viewing screen and circuit boards can be nicely nested as one… hence why the iPhone and iPad are so compact. Virtual keyboards and other ways to input (Siri) are paving new ways to use hardware. A hybrid has bee conceived many many years before – A better iPad still is in development – as no competitor could create one… Apple has to do it. Meaning, Only Apple can create the better device. The form factor however is obvious – it will appear like a display frame. Unlike automobiles and chairs – toaster and kettles — the form no longer needs to express human interaction – no need for ergonomics sort to say. One in 2018, we – perhaps might type on projected light on tables – or the device may know what we are thinking. Not this.
    But is OS X dead – hell no – its the holy grail to all devices.

  2. If Apple does release this mythical “MacPad” that contradicts this statement by Tim Cook;

    “IPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing.”

  3. “As we’ve asked many times over the past few years: Anyone in the market for a 12.9-inch device that’s an OS X-powered MacBook when docked with its keyboard base and an iOS-powered iPad when undocked?”

    How about a Device that is simply OS X – painted with two faces. Pro level user and Simple user.

    OS X is smart enough and powerful enough to be skinned to appear and function like iOS. No need to even have a second system – as Apple fragments its ecosystem into WatchOS and TVOS… things are getting silly guys.

    Nevertheless, OS X came first and is needed to create all other sub systems that Appel chooses to promote devices for.

    1. Rather pointless to have a machine/device become an inferior product when not attached to a keyboard. I would want a device to be its best all the time – just like my employer expects. Ahhhhh, sorry boss, I am not attached to a keyboard at the moment I don’t have the computing power to do that – lets wait until I get into the office? Ridiculous – no one wants this.

      1. I tend to agree. MDN might get excited but every time they parrot that idea off I can’t help but think how Microsoftian and indeed we would laugh if they did for it. However they sensibly have gone to the exact opposite solution and it may be a bit of Compromise but it will get better. In which case Apple has to make their OS work ever more seamlessly together and surely within 5 years miniturisation will allow a better iPad with keyboard combo and a lighter more iPad like MacBook so that effectively they will be very similar in size and weight if Apple wishes it. What Apple should do is give that Mac based product Siri support (how did they allow MS to beat them to that) run iPad like Aps and preferably give it touch support. I think though that Apple is keen to keep them as niticibly separate products so are reluctant to effectively sell one device when it wants to sell two. That may be short sighted longer term.

    2. Apple is progressing iOS faster than OS X – yet now WatchOS and TVoS will slow development down and cause distraction. Eventually OS X will be forgotten and Desktop users ignored.
      But, Me, I love unhooking my machine from the cloud – and just working hard without any distractions. Long Live OS X.

    3. You talk of fragmentation between OSX, iOS, WatchOS, and TVOS. I would hope Apple are keeping the core operating system components common, and only modifying or creating unique elements relating to the UI requirements of the hardware.

      Apple has some of the best computer scientists on the planet and I would be surprised if they were not following this philosophy.

      1. “I would hope Apple are keeping the core operating system components common, and only modifying or creating unique elements relating to the UI requirements of the hardware”

        That is what Apple’s doing.

  4. > Anyone in the market for a 12.9-inch device that’s an OS X-powered MacBook when docked with its keyboard base and an iOS-powered iPad when undocked?

    I would be, at this point in time. But who knows what the Apple computing landscape will look like in a few years……

    1. Seriously – you would want a device to act this way?
      If you spent X amount of money – would you not wish it to function always at its best? I can not see anyone wanting something to be dumbed down just because its not attached to a keyboard. Pathetic. Why not a device that interacts with the point of a finger; like iPad if you want it to. Or to be-able to use a mouse or keyboard as soon as you are close to one. This is what Bluetooth was meant to be… scanning nearby devices to talk to. Letting you know you are near a printer and can print. Letting you know a earphone can be activated. All done wirelessly and painlessly. No need for ports to connect. I can see a high powered iMac Slate – foldable – or not – that you interact with voice and finger to get things done – all running a super slim yet powerful OS X. Not iOS.

  5. Not going to happen. If anything apple will just add features to iOS (perhaps on “Pro” devices only) that bring it more in line with OS X. Since they have the same underpinnings there’s no reason to have a tablet run OS X straight out of the box, there are certain things that just wouldn’t work. Better to just have them share features and tailor them to the interface. Ultimately it could just be that iOS come to mean a touch based with the features/capabilities being otherwise the same.

  6. The only reason Apple hasn’t already released a hybrid is because they fear such a product would cannibalise sales of either/or iPad MacBook sales, and they are right. Still it’s very short sighted because this product if executed to the highest Apple standards placing exquisite attention to form and function would be the biggest selling computer product on the market second only to iPhone and it would demolish both android tablets and Microsoft Windows 10 monstrosities in one fell swoop. Apple has become complacent mainly because the competition is so poor. Microsoft is the only company other than Apple that has the capability to create a hybrid it’s just unfortunate they aren’t able to execute and create a quality product, Apple could really do with a wake up call. Yes, Apple will keep selling plenty of MacBooks and they’ll probably sell 10-20 million iPad Pros, but an Apple branded hybrid would sell in the hundreds of millions and I’d be first in line to buy one. Eventually Microsoft is going to stumble upon a hybrid product that people actually want to buy and I hope Apple isn’t asleep at the wheel when it happens.

    1. Apple has repeatedly said they have no fear of cannibalizing sales of their own products. Even if they hadn’t said it, their release of products (that have done that) clearly indicates they don’t.

  7. Sure. Dual boot ios and osx, with ability to use a mouse on both. Would make a great all in one for students, including ability to watch internet tv, like the Comcast (well, I like them) $15 internet tv bundle. IN three years when coming out with the iPad Pro 4 with its new speedy processor.
    Hugh Massengill, Eugene

  8. I want a 60″ wide multi-touch MacPad drafting table (Apple Pencil included) tiltable to the angle I prefer. OS must support floating contextual pop up menus. Perfect for doing design and architectural work. Great for movies too when tilted vertically.

  9. I don’t buy Apple’s official line that you can’t have a convergent device without compromise. Total nonsense, Apple simply wants us all to buy multiple devices. If you had the chance to buy a fully functioning MacBook that had an elegantly detachable screen that becomes an iPad Pro for somewhere in the region of $1200, who could honestly hand on heart say they wouldn’t be tempted to buy one? If you say you’d prefer to lug 2 separate devices around and spend over $2000 , you’re probably in denial and Apple’s objective

  10. Nope. The iPad will just add functionality.
    Remember, iOS was born due to the limitations of tech at the time. It’s been purposely limited for them. Now as these limitations are being done away with in the hardware dept, the software side will follow.

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