Many people have grown accustom to using touchscreen thanks to the popularity of iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. But the MacBook still doesn’t have it. Despite many PC notebooks adding the feature in recent years. So why doesn’t Apple, the pioneer of multi-touch, add the technology to MacBook? Well, Craig Federighi actually answered this question in 2018.
MacBook Doesn’t Have Touchscreen – Reason
Saying, “We really feel that the ergonomics of using a Mac are that your hands are rested on a surface, and that lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do.” That’s why Apple introduced a touchscreen to the MacBook in the form of a bar that ran across the top of the keyboard. It felt more natural to use and offered some contextual buttons depending on the app being used. But even that wasn’t convincing enough for most customers. They still preferred traditional keys and Apple removed the feature on the 2021 MacBook Pro models.
In addition to arm discomfort, adding a touchscreen to MacBook would complicate the experience. Since users would not only have to navigate between a trackpad and keyboard, but also a touchscreen. That means the interface of macOS would have to accommodate a cursor and a finger. Leaving the user figure out when to use the trackpad, and when to use touch. This complexity is the main reason why most PC notebook users don’t touch their screens at all. Making the experience simple, streamlined, and efficient.
Another factor is the space a touch sensitive layer would take up in the display’s chassis. Not to mention the extra cost. Apple doesn’t like to waste space on unnecessary parts. They removed the iPhone’s headphone jack for this reason and even changed their mind about 3D Touch. A feature that measured how much pressure users applied to the iPhone’s display. It required an extra hardware layer behind the screen which added thickness. But after three years Apple noticed the vast majority of customers weren’t using the feature, so it was removed on subsequent iPhone models. And they don’t want to make a similar mistake by adding a touch sensitive layer to the MacBook’s display. Adding cost and thickness that likely wouldn’t add much utility for customers.