Microsoft sells Windows 10 PCs with a touchscreen. That makes such devices a hybrid tablet and notebook (and now a desktop PC) which makes for very compelling television commercials, and has spawned an interwebs meme that Microsoft has somehow become innovative while Apple has stopped.
There are many reasons why Apple may not want to develop a touchscreen Mac. There isn’t much evidence that such touchscreens get used much, TV commercials notwithstanding, thanks to tendonitis, but the thought of a thin and very light Mac with a touchscreen remains compelling. Here’s how Apple should do it.
Touch Me, Baby
Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure– and at times, the displeasure– of surveying the entire PC industry’s attempts to remain relevant. PC sales are down. Mac sales are down. The computer industry’s customers voted, and mobile computers won. That explains why most PC sales, Mac included, are notebooks, and why tablets and smartphones outnumber traditional PCs of any any kind.
Microsoft’s touchscreen PCs may only slow down the slide into oblivion for standard desktop and notebook computers, but there seems to be niche which Apple might consider. The Mac Pad.
First, Mac Pad would be a touchscreen Mac that runs macOS Bakersfield, or whatever is next on the California meme list. Second, it would not run Intel Inside, but instead be more like an iPad Pro with an Apple designed ARM CPU, let’s call it the A-11 ‘Sizzle’ Series. A 12-inch Retina screen seems reasonable, as would a nominal amount of RAM and limited storage, say 8GB RAM, and 128GB of SSD storage.
Third, Mac Pad should not be underpowered, but not comparable in power and capability to a more expensive and vastly more functional MacBook Pro. Already Apple’s iPad Pro CPUs are comparable to a new MacBook, but by having the device run only Mac apps, and only capable of running macOS Oxnard, or whatever is next on the California meme list, it would not cannibalize much of the Mac line.
Is It A Real Mac?
Remember, all Macs running Intel Inside have the capability of running not only macOS Disneyland, or whatever is next on Apple’s California meme list, they can run Windows, most flavors of Linux, and even Unix. All at the same time, or as a dual boot option. No such requirement would be available for what obviously is an entry-level Mac priced under $1,000, but just above an iPad Pro. Micro-bezel screen? Yes. Thinnest Mac ever? Yep. Lightest Mac ever? Uh huh. macOS version with touchscreen capability? Well, duh.
Mac Pad would be a Mac, but not an Intel Inside Mac, instead using a new generation of Apple’s own A-Series CPUs. Detachable keyboard? Of course. Would such a Mac sell in sufficient quantities to keep Apple’s PC division profitable? Of course. Would a Mac Pad hurt the rest of Apple’s Mac business? Mac Book Pro? Probably not. Mac Pro? Nope. iMac? Uh uh. Mac mini? No, they’re just not comparable.
If customers lap up those touchscreen Mac Pads in sufficient numbers, and I believe they would, then Apple might be inspired to put a touchscreen on other Mac models in the future as screen prices come down, and micro-bezel devices become all the rage.
Touchscreen Mac Pad. It could happen.