A touchscreen iMac? That's 'absurd' says Apple exec Phil Schiller

Ever since the advent of the iPad, Apple has fielded questions regarding the potential for touchscreen Mac computers. If Microsoft can manage it with the impressive Surface range, why can't Apple?

According to Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, it's not quite as simple as slapping a touchscreen onto its Macs.

In fact, he went as far as calling the concept 'absurd' in an interview with BackChannel, given the challenges it would pose for the Mac line as a whole.


“We think of the whole platform," said Schiller.

"If we were to do Multi-Touch on the screen of the notebook, that wouldn’t be enough — then the desktop wouldn’t work that way. Can you imagine a 27-inch iMac where you have to reach over the air to try to touch and do things? That becomes absurd.”

It's a matter of fragmentation then - while touchscreen iOS devices sit in their own category and share a broadly similar interface (even when taking into account the iPad Pro Pencil), Apple isn't keen on engineering discrepancies between MacOS experiences across devices. 

That's especially apparent when you factor in how ubiquitous mouse and touchpad input remains.

"You can’t optimize for both. It’s the lowest common denominator thinking,” Schiller added. 

That's not to say Apple hasn't experimented with the idea, with Schiller admitting the company worked on touchscreen Macs "a number of times over the years."

But those holding out hope for a touchcreen Mac shouldn't hold their breath. 

“We’ve absolutely come away with the belief that it isn't the right thing to do. Our instincts were correct,” Schiller concluded.

 Via: Backchannel

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.