Jony Ive Rejected Touchscreen Mac ‘Many Years Ago’ Due to Lack of Usefulness

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 31 Oct 2016


In an interview with CNET, Jony Ive has revealed that Apple decided “many, many years ago” against adding touchscreens to the Mac. The statement comes as most Windows-based OEMs have been adding touchscreen capabilities to their laptops.

When Apple first started playing around with the idea of putting touchscreens on a Mac, it tried to find an appropriate use case scenario for it. However, it realized that touchscreens on Mac were not “particularly useful or an appropriate application of multitouch.” Why?

For a bunch of practical reasons. It’s difficult to talk [laughs] without going into a lot of details that puts me starting to talk about things that we are working on. I don’t really want to talk much more about it.

Jony Ive is likely referring to the idea of Apple using an e-ink keyboard on the MacBook Pro in 2018. The e-ink keyboard will have the ability to change the letters and characters displays on each key. They will also show special keys in apps like GarageBand and Final Cut Pro X.

On the Touch Bar, Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, says that the company explored a number of designs and used them day to day only to realize that they were not compelling enough in regular use. He also said that Apple has been working on the Touch Bar since two years, though initially, it was not product specific. The initial prototype was based around haptic-rich trackpads.

This was an area of combining touch and display-based inputs with a mechanical keyboard. That was the focus. We unanimously were very compelled by [the Touch Bar] as a direction, based on, one, using it, and also having the sense this is the beginning of a very interesting direction. But [it] still just marks a beginning.

When questioned on whether the company considers the emotional ties that many Mac users have with their devices while designing new products and models, Ive said that Apple does not “limit ourselves in how we will push — if it’s to a better place. What we won’t do is just do something different that’s no better.”

I guess that’s the reason as to why one cannot connect the new MacBook Pro to an iPhone without buying a $25 cable first.

[Via Cnet]