Former Mac VP calls BS on Apple's Craig Federighi

"I think the charming and articulate executive is putting us on." — Jean-Louis Gassée

From "Apple: No Mac-In-Touch" posted Sunday in Gassée's Monday Note:

Reviews of new Apple Silicon Macs are not out yet. They’re likely to be good. But one small disappointment lingers: Why didn’t Apple use the transition as an opportunity to bring Touch to the Mac User Interface?...

Disappointment over the Missing Touch didn’t escape the attention of the Apple execs who were sent into the media landscape for a barnstorming expedition of post-launch interviews. In an interview with the UK’s Independent, Sr VP Craig Federighi pooh-poohs the Touch speculation:

“I gotta tell you when we released Big Sur, and these articles started coming out saying, ‘Oh my God, look, Apple is preparing for touch’. I was thinking like, ‘Whoa, why?’

“We had designed and evolved the look for macOS in a way that felt most comfortable and natural to us, not remotely considering something about touch.”

I think the charming and articulate executive is putting us on.

My take: Ben Thompson and John Gruber, who usually agree about everything Apple, clashed on this issue in a Dithering podcast last week. Thompson thinks a touchscreen Mac is inevitable. Gruber disagrees. If you want a touchscreen, he says, get an iPad. Listen here.

P.S. Having wasted much of Sunday watching a half-dozen MacOS update attempts fail without apology or explanation, Big Sur arrived overnight. The new screen looks pretty touch-friendly to me.

See the Apple 3.0 Jean-Louis Gassée archives.


  1. John Miller said:
    If a large chunk of MacBook Pro users have not been frequently motivated to reach for the Touch Bar, with their keyboard fingers just inches from it as they use their Macs, what makes you think putting touch capabilities even further away (on the screen) will change that?

    November 16, 2020
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    It’s a more intuitive, innate, instinctive and unforced interactive experience in this comptemporary age of “touch screen” user interface. Excluding the omnipresent COVID-19, much of society desires “touch” as a form of intimacy. Who doesn’t have an intimacy with his/her device? I suspect Apple will move in this direction over time.

    November 16, 2020
  3. Bart Yee said:
    When Micro or Mini-LED displays are ready with built-in touch digitizer interfaces Apple will then offer a MacBook variant. Current OLED screens are too costly for this. Plus Apple will have a full 360 degree hinge to allow tablet only operation with Pencil.

    Hybrid? No, the MacPad.

    November 16, 2020
  4. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Methinks the charming & articulate pot is calling the kettle the same thing.

    Mixing metaphors, I’m sure Mr. Gassée didn’t show all his cards when he used to be an Apple Computer, Inc. exec.

    November 16, 2020
  5. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    And a Big Yay for your Big Sur download success, Mr. Philip! Congrats!

    November 16, 2020
  6. John Konopka said:
    I think touch on the Mac is inevitable, but there is no rush. It will happen when it is time. Apple never announces new things like this until they are ready to be released so I have no complaints against the wonderful Mr. Federighi.

    November 16, 2020
    • Jerry Doyle said:
      @John Konopka: You’re spot on. It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.” Apple will announce it only when Apple believes the new feature is ready for release.

      November 16, 2020

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