No touchscreens coming to pro Macs, says Apple's Phil Schiller

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited April 2017
Apple isn't planning to offer touchscreens on any of its upcoming professional-level Macs, the company's worldwide marketing head said in revealing upcoming new Mac Pros and iMacs on Tuesday.




"Touch doesn't even register on the list of things pro users are interested in talking about," Phil Schiller told BuzzFeed News and other publications at an Apple prototyping lab. "They're interested in things like performance and storage and expandability."

Microsoft has had some success with the Surface Studio, an iMac-like all-in-one desktop that can lay nearly completely flat and not only features a touchscreen but a specialized accessory, the Surface Dial, meant to sit on the screen at that angle. While expensive, the Studio can be useful for people working in illustration, design, and similar tasks.

Apple is planning to ship new iMacs later this year, but most features are so far unknown. The only other definite point is that Apple will offer configurations it feels can meet professional needs.

The company will go a step further in 2018, releasing an overhauled Mac Pro with a modular design that should be see more regular upgrades. It will be joined by a new Apple-branded display -- Apple killed off the Thunderbolt Display in June 2016, letting third-party monitors fill in the gap.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    Good. Touchscreen desktops are a worse idea than touchscreen laptops.
    pscooter63fracericthehalfbeeStrangeDaysmr oration albaconstangpolymniawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 67
    jmc54jmc54 Posts: 195member
    just...awkward!
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 67
    Is there any evidence the Surface Studio is selling? 
    wlymbrucemcStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 67
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,704member
    Is there any evidence the Surface Studio is selling? 
    Is there any evidence that any Microsoft computer selling? Touchscreens on a desktop are the biggest gimmick I've ever seen. I would almost go as far as saying touchscreen on a laptop are a gimmick too. 
    andrewj5790baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 67
    brifbrif Posts: 4member
    I fully agree. Touch on vertical surfaces doesn't work. I know, I tried using iPad Pro with a keyboard - something Apple claims can replace a computer... *facepalm*
    edited April 2017
  • Reply 6 of 67
    Is there any evidence the Surface Studio is selling? 
    I don't have any sales numbers because where I live (Canada) you can't even buy them yet - only pre-order.  That said, it looks like a wonderful device, a fantastic display. Really, the "ultimate" Surface Studio would be for them to remove the computer bits, and for it to only be a display.  And then you plug it into a PC if your choice.  Then, you can build a monumentally powerful computer that isn't as thermally constrained, and that you can upgrade from time to time.

    Maybe even write the necessary drivers for macOS.  For example, when developing iOS apps, wouldn't it be nice if you could use your fingers and have the iOS Simulator accept touch input?  I know I would love that!  Pen input too!  You could debug your Apple Pencil specific code on your Mac!

    Seriously, I wish Cupertino would fire up their photocopiers.  If Apple could make the iMac more like the Surface Studio, it would be a better product.
  • Reply 7 of 67
    Is there any evidence the Surface Studio is selling? 
    I don't have any sales numbers because where I live (Canada) you can't even buy them yet - only pre-order.  That said, it looks like a wonderful device, a fantastic display. Really, the "ultimate" Surface Studio would be for them to remove the computer bits, and for it to only be a display.  And then you plug it into a PC if your choice.  Then, you can build a monumentally powerful computer that isn't as thermally constrained, and that you can upgrade from time to time.

    Maybe even write the necessary drivers for macOS.  For example, when developing iOS apps, wouldn't it be nice if you could use your fingers and have the iOS Simulator accept touch input?  I know I would love that!  Pen input too!  You could debug your Apple Pencil specific code on your Mac!

    Seriously, I wish Cupertino would fire up their photocopiers.  If Apple could make the iMac more like the Surface Studio, it would be a better product.

    Or developers could, I don't know, ... develop and debug their touch apps by pushing the code to their connected iOS devices, like everyone actually does.
    fracRacerhomieXwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 8 of 67
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member
    Wait are iMacs Pro Machines? So thats the way we are going, mobile graphics only. A laptop motherboard behind a nice screen is Pro. A screen that is useless to me in 3 years because I need to upgrade other hardware. The least green machines available because of the pre-determined obsolescence. 

    The Apple pencil is amazing, make it ubiquitous. 
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 9 of 67
    Or developers could, I don't know, ... develop and debug their touch apps by pushing the code to their connected iOS devices, like everyone actually does.
    Here's the thing: in the recompile-and-run-it-again cycle, it takes a lot less time to compile non-trivial apps and run them on the simulator.  Adding all the extra time for it to run on a iOS device really decreases productivity.  Then, there are all the different device sizes.  When I want to test a different device, I need to have it on hand, plug it in and go.  Switching the Simulator to a different device size is much faster.  These are some of the reasons why developers use the Simulator extensively, even if they do have physical iOS devices around.

    If you don't think this would be a substantial productivity improvement over the current situation, well, you probably don't spend much time writing iOS apps.

    I find your suggestion akin to someone in 1900 suggesting that instead of a automobile, people could just use their horse "like everyone actually does".
  • Reply 10 of 67
    danvmdanvm Posts: 707member
    macxpress said:
    Is there any evidence the Surface Studio is selling? 
    Is there any evidence that any Microsoft computer selling? Touchscreens on a desktop are the biggest gimmick I've ever seen. I would almost go as far as saying touchscreen on a laptop are a gimmick too. 
    I haven't read a negative review of the Surface Studio yet, so it looks like that a usable desktop touchscreen is possible.  But it looks like Apple wasn't ready to make it happen. 
  • Reply 11 of 67
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,597member
    ". . . all-in-one desktop that can lay nearly completely flat and not only features a touchscreen but a specialized accessory, the Surface Dial, meant to sit on the screen at that angle"

    Have they solved the Dial's downward drift problem yet?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 67
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 281member
    danvm said: I haven't read a negative review of the Surface Studio yet, so it looks like that a usable desktop touchscreen is possible.  But it looks like Apple wasn't ready to make it happen.  
    Usable is one thing - many graphics/photo professionals are borderline paranoid about glare/reflections for good reason and fingerprints and smudges are worse!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 67
    sog35 said:
    danvm said:
    macxpress said:
    Is there any evidence the Surface Studio is selling? 
    Is there any evidence that any Microsoft computer selling? Touchscreens on a desktop are the biggest gimmick I've ever seen. I would almost go as far as saying touchscreen on a laptop are a gimmick too. 
    I haven't read a negative review of the Surface Studio yet, so it looks like that a usable desktop touchscreen is possible.  But it looks like Apple wasn't ready to make it happen. 
    All the reviews of the Surface Studio say the same thing: fast computer, beautiful screen,..............but ridiculously expensive.  And only worth it for a very very very small niche of the population AKA graphic designers and artists............who have $$$$ to burn.
    The majority of graphic designers use Macs, so the Surface Studio wouldn't be an option.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 67
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,499member
    Is there any evidence the Surface Studio is selling? 
    I was going to ask the same thing.  Positive reviews are nice, but in the end meaningless as to whether a product sells well or is a success.  I think Surface Studio looks good, is an interesting option for those in its niche, but given its price tag & target market I expect sales to be less than Apple's Mac Pro have been.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 67

    Is there any evidence the Surface Studio is selling? 
    I don't have any sales numbers because where I live (Canada) you can't even buy them yet - only pre-order.  That said, it looks like a wonderful device, a fantastic display. Really, the "ultimate" Surface Studio would be for them to remove the computer bits, and for it to only be a display.  And then you plug it into a PC if your choice.  Then, you can build a monumentally powerful computer that isn't as thermally constrained, and that you can upgrade from time to time.

    Maybe even write the necessary drivers for macOS.  For example, when developing iOS apps, wouldn't it be nice if you could use your fingers and have the iOS Simulator accept touch input?  I know I would love that!  Pen input too!  You could debug your Apple Pencil specific code on your Mac!

    Seriously, I wish Cupertino would fire up their photocopiers.  If Apple could make the iMac more like the Surface Studio, it would be a better product.
    What evidence do you have in saying the Surface Studio is a better machine to an iMac? As someone who works in the graphic design industry the thought of using a touchscreen monitor makes little sense. How many fingerprints would be over the screen when you clearly need a smudge free display to create work.
    macseekerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 67
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,499member
    As for touchscreen Macs, I have yet to hear how people can advocate for both of these (as they often do on this forum, although in different threads):

    1) Touchscreen Macs are required as it is far easier / more intuitive just to touch what you want...

    2) iPad needs mouse support to be truly usable and productive, as the UI with finger is a cumbersome workflow...


    edac2ration alwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 67
    danvmdanvm Posts: 707member
    mknelson said:
    danvm said: I haven't read a negative review of the Surface Studio yet, so it looks like that a usable desktop touchscreen is possible.  But it looks like Apple wasn't ready to make it happen.  
    Usable is one thing - many graphics/photo professionals are borderline paranoid about glare/reflections for good reason and fingerprints and smudges are worse!
    iMac's have reflective screen for years, including the 5K model, and many professionals still use them without issues.  Regarding fingerprints and smudges, that's part of a touchscreen, same as iPads, and people still use them.  But I hope both issues get better in future versions.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    bill42bill42 Posts: 122member
    xzu said:
    Wait are iMacs Pro Machines? So thats the way we are going, mobile graphics only. A laptop motherboard behind a nice screen is Pro. A screen that is useless to me in 3 years because I need to upgrade other hardware. The least green machines available because of the pre-determined obsolescence. 

    The Apple pencil is amazing, make it ubiquitous. 
    Yes, iMacs are hands-down pro machines, and they have been for two generations at least. How do I know? I have been working in advertising as a high end retoucher for over 25 years. While we used to have over 2000 Mac towers in our agency, in the last 7-10 years we have switched to exactly zero towers, and all iMacs for desktop machines.
    The iMac is the best retouching workstation I have ever used in my life, and I fit the definition of a pro-user in every way. At home my 2012 iMac with fusion drive is now over 5 years old and the screen is not at all outdated. In fact I am willing to bet it is better than your screen (more accurate) unless you too calibrate your screen with a spyder Pro or equivalent. After 5 years, hardware does become outdated so I'll be getting this new iMac without a doubt, maxed out with every option like I always do.
    brucemcraoulduke42ration albaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 67
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,808member
    Surface Studio like device made by Apple will ROCK!! I envy Windows designers for it. I used one at a Microsoft store and can definitely see myself using one to its fullest potential.
  • Reply 20 of 67
    maccadmaccad Posts: 72member
    brif said:
    I fully agree. Touch on vertical surfaces doesn't work. I know, I tried using iPad Pro with a keyboard - something Apple claims can replace a computer... *facepalm*
    To each his own. I use my 12.9-inch iPad Pro as my computer when I'm out, and I love it. I use an Apple Smart Keyboard Cover and the touch screen, and it feels natural and comfortable. Love the split screen. When I'm home, I love using my 27-inch iMac. The iPad becomes an auxiliary computer. Nice setup. No, I wouldn't want the iMac to be a touch screen...unless it could lay flat, and then it would make sense.
    StrangeDaysration alwatto_cobra
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