The Future of the Mac

July 26, 2008


Mockup of Touch on the Mac

Increasing evidence has come up to support the fact that Touch Macs are coming our way, and soon. How we will see it is still up for debate. Some believe we will see a “Newton Reincarnation”, and it will be 1.5 times the size of the iPhone, with some more advanced gestures, focusing on bringing back the PDA. Some say we will see a “Mac Tablet”, which will be a device with an 10 inch, multi-touch screen, and no keyboard, but will boast compatibility with both Mac Apps, and the App Store. Finally, there is the group of people who believe that multi-touch will simply migrate to all their products, from the laptops to the cinema displays.


The people who believe that we will see a Newton Reincarnation are dead wrong. Period. The Newton has already been revived: its called the Safari Pad, which was morphed into the iPhone, which is available today. If you don’t want the phone, you can get an iPod Touch, which is more PDA-Like than any PDA I’ve ever seen. To sum it up, the Newton has already been reincarnated, and most of us own one already.

To those that think we will see a Mac Tablet, I think it is possible that something like this would come out, but unlikely. Why sell us a device that combines a Mac and an iPhone when you could sell us both, for more money? Unless this device is outrageously overpriced, I doubt we will see it… yet.

As for those who believe multi-touch will simply migrate over to the Macs we already have: you’re right. I am very convinced that multi-touch will become standard on the MacBook and MacBook Pro (maybe Air) by the end of Quarter 4. This is supported by the fact that Apple’s next quarter’s gross margins are predicted to be lower than was expected: Apple wants to sell these notebooks, with the more expensive multi-touch screen, at the same price point (or lower). These notebooks wouldn’t ditch the keyboard: a huge consumer backlash would result if they did so, but instead would probably be a redesign of both the MacBook and MacBook Pro, with a screen that rotated all the way back. This would give you the best of both worlds: the keyboard and mouse for typing documents and web browsing, and the multi-touch screen for photo editing and playing songs in iTunes. We would finally see all the advanced gestures which Apple filed patents for, incorporated into Mac OS X. Expect these laptops to come thinner than they are now, with some new innovations besides multi-touch, in a month or two. As for the iMacs and Cinema Displays: no multi-touch yet. I doubt that Apple would force multi-touch into the Desktops, as it would be very uncomfortable and impractical for the user. Maybe once Apple tests the waters with the laptops, they will figure out a way to make it work.

Summary: Multi-touch will indisputably (edit: possibly) come to the MacBooks in this quarter.


6 Responses to “The Future of the Mac”

  1. Jaryd said

    I wouldn’t say that multi-touch will ‘indisputably’ come to MacBooks this quarter; I can dispute it all I want. Until Apple announces said MacBook, it is just a rumor.

    I’m not saying whether I agree or disagree with you, just that it isn’t Apple canon yet.

    I think they will start with advancing the already advanced multi-touch trackpad like the ones found on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Supposedly the track pads on the next revision will be glass (like the one in the picture in your post). I can see that happening.

  2. mykbibby said

    I agree. I wrote indisputably at the time because the source had already told me the rumor I posted later. Now that I found out it was a misunderstanding, I will go back and revise that. Thank you!

  3. MaX said

    “If you don’t want the phone, you can get an iPod Touch, which is more PDA-Like than any PDA I’ve ever seen”.

    Not really. You cannot do critical things with the iPhone or iPod touch that you can do with Windoze-PDAs or Windoze Smart phones out there (see next).

    On the other hand, Apple has enough of PowerBook offerings.

    Here it comes…

    What is needed is a pocket Mac. With 5-inch screen or so. For wired and wireless presentations of NATIVE Keynote and PowerPoint files with transitions, animatios, etc. Carry it instead of a bulky and heavy PowerBook to the classroom, meeting or whatever. Yes, even the MacBook Air is too large and heavy for us.

    I mean, the ultimate presentation remote. We need thousands for our University. Something like this, but with Mac OS X, FireWire and Ethernet ports:

    OQO model e2

  4. mykbibby said

    The only reason the iPod Touch is PDA like now is the App store. I bet we will see something soon that will address your needs.

  5. It depends on your definition of “soon”.

  6. Что то мне как то не очень, но смысл в этом есть.

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