Will Apple try to ‘tabletize’ the Mac, or continue to concentrate on iPad evolution?

“Memorializing Steve Jobs in 2012, Tim Cook was most impressed with the Apple co-founder’s ability to quickly change his mind [as always, edits and emphasis mine]: ‘He would flip on something so fast that you would forget that he was the one taking the 180 degree polar opposite position the day before. I saw it daily. This is a gift, because things do change, and it takes courage to change,'” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note.

“Mulling those wise words, I can’t help wonder what other Apple changes of mind are awaiting us. We’ve already seen hints of a U-turn with recent iPad Pro developments. With its Smart Keyboard and Pencil it’s the ultimate toaster-fridge apostasy, an alternative to Mac (and other) laptops, an unofficially acknowledged answer to Microsoft’s hybrid Surface device family,” Gassée writes. “How far will reversals go?”

“I’ll start with something I consider unlikely: The introduction of tablet features to the Mac. For Mac laptops, Apple has issued a strong edict: The ergonomically correct way to use a laptop it to keep your hands on the horizontal plane, no lifting one’s arm to touch the screen, no matter how tempting,” Gassée writes. “The MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar keeps our hands where they belong, on the desk.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple does touch right and, as usual, other companies do it wrong – as we’ve been patiently explaining for many years now:

To us longtime Apple watchers, Cupertino seems to be saying, “Multi-Touch on the screen only when trackpads are not part of the device.”MacDailyNews, November 19, 2008

Does it make more sense to be smearing your fingers around on your notebook’s screen or on a spacious trackpad that’s designed specifically and solely to be touched? Apple thinks things through more than other companies… The iPhone’s screen has to be touched; that’s all it has available. A MacBook’s screen does not have to be touched in order to offer Multi-Touch™. There is a better way: Apple’s way.MacDailyNews, March 26, 2009

“You want a laptop running on (loosely speaking) an ARM processor that combines a multi-touch interface with classic keyboard/trackpad cursor control? The iPad Pro is almost there,” Gassée writes. “oaster-fridge jibes aside, making the iPad a hybrid tablet laptop doesn’t feel like a 180-degree change of mind so much as a natural evolution, something users have longed for.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote nearly a year ago:

Here’s an idea: Apple could sell iPad Pros as they do now, and for those wanting a “Mac,” Apple could sell them the macOS-powered display-less keyboard/trackpad/cpu/RAM/SSD/battery base unit. Attach your iPad for the display and off you go, you Mac-headed truck driver! Plus, you get to use the iPad’s battery, too, extending battery life to provide a truly all-day battery for portable Mac users. Detach the display and you get your iOS-powered iPad back, same as always.

Too outside the box? We’d love to be able to take our 12-inch iPad Pro, mate it with this theoretical Mac base unit, and turn it into a portable Mac. Right now, we carry 12-inch iPad Pros and MacBooks in our backpacks. Guess what’s redundant? Right, the displays. We don’t need to carry two screens on the road. The iPad Pro’s screen would do just fine, thanks.

Buy the Mac base on its own (for those who already have 12-inch iPad Pros) or buy it as part of a package (get a new 12-inch iPad Pro at a nice discount when you buy it with the Mac base). Imagine if Apple had unveiled this headless MacBook that you use with your iPad at their iPad event this past fall. What would the narrative about Apple be like versus what it is today? With such a product, would Apple have missed its revenue and profit goals for the year, causing Tim Cook and other high-level Apple executives to have their compensation cut? How many more 12-inch iPad Pro sales would such a product have generated? Enough to return iPad to unit sales growth, we bet. And, how many more Macs would have been sold, too?

Apple’s Craig Federighi explains why there is no touchscreen Mac – November 1, 2016


  1. All very good except that Apple has a terrible reputation for underpowered desktop and portable devices for the pro market. The iMac and Mac pro might address the desktop, but this doesn’t fix Apples portable pro customers who want and need power and flexibility. The 13inch macbook is inadequate leaving only the 15inch w a dedicated gpu for those who have to do heavy lifting on the move. What choice is that? Apples understanding of the ”pro” market still seems near delusional at times.

    1. “underpowered desktop and portable devices for the pro market.”
      Is there a specific “pro market” you’re talking about? Because I know Pro’s making big money with those underpowered desktop and portable devices. While they may be underpowered for some, it’s definitely not considered underpowered for many.

  2. How about this instead:

    No touchscreen on the Mac, that’s stupid. But toss in a convenient iPad emulator with macOS, so that we can run iPad apps in a window on the Mac with mouse/trackpad control if we want.

    There, problem solved, that’s all the integration you really need.

    Now, if you want to get really fancy, make iPad apps dual-platform so that they look like Mac apps when running on a Mac, and look like iPad apps on an iPad.


      There, I fixed it for you, LOL!

      The emulator idea makes sense, but to me its an answer to the question that no one asked, well more correctly not me.

      If I need the app, then I need it on the Mac. I realize some people can exist perfectly well on iOS, and there are a few iOS apps that I use, but without my Mac I am out of business.

      1. i guess my response would be

        are other people doing touch screen? yes

        does it sell ? yes

        well then enough people like it enough to buy them. and if apple offered the capability they might even buy them from apple instead of other brands

        rather than apple locking them selves – and us – into a unitary choice product, and potentially losing sales, why not build in the capability.

        if you don’t like it. don’t use it. if you want to have the capability then it is there to be used, or not.

        doesn’t make sense to be hard headed if it potentially limits your market. just implement it better than anyone else and benefit from the business

        the mere presence of the capability does not condemn one to use it.

        1. “if you don’t like it. don’t use it. if you want to have the capability then it is there to be used, or not.“

          This notion is foreign to too many people. It insults their notion of ideological purity as set forth by Apple. Conform or get out. This is Apple.

    2. “run iPad apps in a window on the Mac”
      Run iPad apps, a multi-touch device emulated on a screen that you can’t multi-touch on… just to say you can?

      Nah, the “PostPC” answer, the Steve Jobs answer, is to keep heading in the PostPC direction, jettisoning those folks that don’t buy into it.

  3. You can wax lyrical as much as you like about the “right” way to do it, but here’s the reality: I’M SICK OF CARRYING TWO DEVICES. Apple needs to fix this, and it’s more important than puritanical theories about what is “right”.


      I could only use ONE device if I didnt do 97% of my work, but thats not an option.

      Unless it was a 21 inch Ipad with some kind of precision selection device like a stylus, and an actual keyboard.

      But I think they all ready make that? All its missing is finger touch, and for me thats just completely wasted technology that I dont want to pay for.

    2. You are one of the few no-nonsense posters that I’ve seen on sites like this.

      100% agree with you.

      Ridiculous how sites like this now try to put a spin on why Apple conceded to the “toaster fridge apostasy” that they used to laugh at, as though they planned that direction all along. And they STILL try to justify why Apple should sell you two devices that you have to juggle, with all the empty illustrations like “car vs. truck” and so forth.

      I bought a Surface Pro a few years ago (and had an Asus windows hybrid before that), and I have only ever needed ONE device for my tablet, my drawing pad, my laptop, and my desktop at work. If the world would’ve stopped fawning over Apple image hype & catering to their constant changing app needs, and would’ve just invested in that platform to make messaging and other things more seamless, we would’ve had the perfect mobile dream world. Instead we’re stuck in multi dongle hardware hell. Hopefully that will change.

  4. ok hee we go again……..

    Make a Duel Screen MacPad !!!!!1
    the top screen would be used as normal….
    but the BOTTOM screen could be an Editing Controller, Equalizer, Paint Palate Mixing etc. AND, it should have the option to run Windows.
    If I can’t run Windows programs, then it’s NOT A PROFESSIONAL DEVICE. can you say RT? WINDOWS HAS 90%, OR MORE, of the programs available to use I use PowerDirecter. A bought a PC, cause Apple did not come out with a Quad Core Mac Mini. I use the 2012 Quad Core mini, and the PC.

    1. I spent 4 months this summer on a web page update project involving 65 pages and over 1000 documents.

      The contract requirement was Windows 10 at the clients facility using Adobe products and the Joomla content management system.


      If I had to work under those specs again, I would leave web development. Not kidding

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