The Apple rumour mill is mainly focused on the iPhone, the iWatch, and Apple TV.
However, there is persistent, albeit less titillating, gossip about Apple releasing a new, category-defining laptop this year. There is also talk of Apple working on a 12-inch iPad Pro.
We thought there was a chance that these products were the same thing. We thought maybe Apple was going to go the Microsoft Surface route and do a laptop-iPad hybrid of some sort.
We no longer think that.
On the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Mac, Apple executives made it very clear that they have no interest whatsoever in creating Surface-like laptop-tablet hybrid.
In an interview with MacWorld, Craig Federighi, who leads Mac (OS X) and iPhone/iPad (iOS) software engineering said, “The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn’t because one came after the other or because this one’s old and this one’s new,” it’s because the Mac “has been honed over 30 years” to work for keyboards and mice, while the iPhone has been honed for five years to work for touch.
He says that making a tablet into a laptop is a mistake: “It’s obvious and easy enough to slap a touchscreen on a piece of hardware, but is that a good experience? We believe, no.”
Microsoft believes “yes,” which is why it made Windows 8 a touch-centric experience. It decided to meld the desktop with the touchscreen.
From Microsoft’s perspective, it wants to provide users with one device to do everything. Microsoft thinks it’s silly that a user would carry a laptop, a smartphone, and a tablet around. It wants to make the laptop work as a tablet when needed, and vice versa.
Apple completely disagrees with Microsoft.
Apple SVP of Marketing, Phil Schiller told MacWorld, “It’s not an either/or. It’s a world where you’re going to have a phone, a tablet, a computer, you don’t have to choose. And so what’s more important is how you seamlessly move between them all… It’s not like this is a laptop person and that’s a tablet person. It doesn’t have to be that way.”