And this is why I don’t trust analysts

“Apple’s innovation is sputtering,” [Trip] Chowdhry wrote in a research note to clients. “Why is that Apple, the company that brought touch to phones and tablets, stopped just there and did not bring touch to notebooks and iMacs? Why is it that Apple brought high-resolution screens to…some MacBooks and not to all devices? High-resolution screens are a commodity today.”

Well Trip, people tend to use computers in a different way than they use tablets and phones. It makes no sense to push out touch enabled displays on products that people expect to use a keyboard and mouse.

Apple does use high-resolution displays, but Retina displays are not a commodity. With a price conscious customer in mind, Apple has to balance its products to offer the best it can for a reasonable price.

I hope that answered your question Trip.

  • The only people who want a touch screen on their desktop or laptop are those who have never used a touch screen on a desktop or laptop.

    • Xerox PARC was testing touchscreens on desktops in the EARLY 1980s. The tech was available then. The mouse won because it worked better, and the arm and shoulder strain were horrific. Subsequent work at Apple, Microsoft, and elsewhere confirmed and extended those results. Some ideas just are not good.

    • max

      It’s not like they are suggesting to remove the keyboard and mouse, it’s just used as another option. For example your laptop is on a table, your standing up, and you want to change the music track that’s being played; you could either line up your mouse find the cursor, move it, and click next, or with touch just prod the screen (you could remember the keyboard short cut as well and that works for some things but touch is undeniably much more intuitive and versatile).

      • kvanh

        Add an expensive touch system for a rare and occasional use case? That seems fairly pointless to me. In fact for that use case voice seems a better controller since it would work even if iTunes were hidden the background (as is typical when playing music)

        • max

          Touch system isn’t all that expensive (especially now that we are making billions of them). Voice is a good idea (if it’s reliable and extensive). You still have to press something to activate voice though (otherwise the song could trigger stuff), and if your going to do that, then speak to it, then it’ll compute it, maybe ask for conformation, and then skip the track your a fair way behind the guy that pushed the picture.

          • NetMage

            Since the same computer is playing the music, it would know to ignore it.

          • max

            Who makes the software that can do that?

        • Just for fun, I loaded up my Lenovo Touch Screen PC, which I bought for web site compatibility testing, and tried the touch screen on iTunes. It actually worked surprisingly well, although having to double-tap to change the track was annoying.

          If it weren’t for my active loathing of all things Windows-related, I might actually use it for my music playing instead of one of my 27″ iMacs. It was nice not to have to reach for a mouse to change tracks.

          Given that my Lenovo cost $699 I’m going to say touch on an all in one must be a pretty cheap feature to add.

          I remember a year or so ago, Apple obtained a patent on a touch-screen iMac that could be tilted so it was at the “normal” vertical angle, or a touch-friendly horizontal angle. I thought that was a pretty cool idea and hope it will become more achievable as the iOS and MacOS X interfaces converge.


  • Don’t Trip on your way out, fool

  • Canucker

    Appropriate name for the guy. I’m sure he’ll enjoy taking his fingers off his keyboard to press the hinged and angled screen on his Windows 8 laptop. This sort of extrapolative thinking would have all of our roads being railway lines.

  • Michael Stanclift

    “High-resolution screens are a commodity today.”

    It’s not just about high-resolution, it’s high-pixel-density, something that is becoming more and more common, thanks to… Apple.

    • If it wasn’t for apple, the display industry would continue to stagnate at 1080p. HDTV has been the worst thing to happen to the display industry.

  • Alex the Ukrainian

    What a trip that guy is, eh?

  • com·mod·i·ty noun 1:c:a mass-produced unspecialized product

    Mr. Chowdhry should look into the definition of commodity. High resolution screens on devices larger than a tablet could hardly be considered unspecialized given no other manufacturer other than Apple incorporates them into their product line.

    • Apple isn’t the only one to incorporate them. Just the first to popularize them.

  • Every time they release a new product/upgrade that doesn’t piss rainbows into your morning cup of joe, people panic that Apple have stopped trying and aren’t innovating anymore.

    Real innovation – like what the iPhone did to the mobile phone industry – takes serious time and effort. You can’t expect that to happen every year.

    But that doesn’t mean Apple still aren’t bringing their A game to the products and updates they release. The fit and finish on the iPhone 5 is otherworldly. You don’t put out a product like that because you’ve stopped trying.

    • Innovation pah. Apple’s skill has always been the ability to sell stuff that other people were already selling but in a more desirable format to a market that were, on the whole, content to believe that it had just been invented – rather than reinvented.

      • You’re confusing the word innovation with the word invention. To innovate is to change something that has already been established – which is exactly what you described as Apple’s skill. To invent is to create something that never existed before, which no one here is talking about except you.

        Apple innovated with the iPhone – they changed the way mobile phones were made and used.

        Apple innovated with the iPad – they changed the way tablets were made and used.

        So, what is it you were pah’ing at, exactly?

      • madmaxmedia

        I would say that typically their market believes Apple’s skill is better implementation, not whether they invented something or not.

        • jameskatt

          Yes. That means Apple is great at innovation. This means implementing an idea better than others.

      • jameskatt

        Inventions are patented ideas. Apple has a LOT of patents.

    • It’s natural to expect more of the wildly successful. Chowdhry’s problem is that he expects less, and confuses innovation with box-checking for box-checking’s sake.

  • JohnDoey

    Trip is a known bozo. He has absolutely no understanding of how Apple succeeds or why.

    By his logic, Mac Pro should be the only product Apple sells, because who has the money for a Mac Pro plus something else? Almost nobody. So just sell Mac Pros.

  • Twat is a doucheboat captain!

  • Why is that Analysts always think we give a sh*# about their opinions.

    • Sadly, because lots of newspaper and magazine writers do.

  • tylernol

    Oh look, another “Apple is doomed” analyst.

  • How is pushing touch to MacBooks and iMacs an example of innovation that Apple has yet to achieve? I’ve never read such supreme idiocy.

  • If Trip had the opportunity to oversee the design of a car it would be: The Homer.

    • That’s exactly the word I use to describe Windows 8 / RT

  • Tvaddic

    I disagree on your first note about what the consumer expects. Apple has been known to do what the customer expects. Before Apple people were expecting to use a stylus with touch screens.

  • Aetles

    Besides that Trip does not seem to understand that some things are not technically possible and/or economically possible at a given time (like putting Retina in every screen Apple sells) I have changed my mind on touchscreens on laptops.

    I been thinking about this a lot lately and I actually think that would be useful and I kind of think that Apple will head in that direction. Maybe not soon, but they will. It is not as crazy as it first seems. And the more gestures and iOS-fication OS X gets the more it makes sense.

    If for nothing else than for this: I’ve stopped counting the times I’ve seen my mom touching the screen of her MacBook Air since she got and iPad and an iPhone. She would never do that before, but now it makes sense for her and feels like something natural.

    • My poor father is in the same boat. “No, that one doesn’t do that. Just the iPad.” “Oh, okay.” Anyone who touches assumes (probably correctly, despite interface issues) that everything should be touchable.

    • Apple doesn’t do things just because it can. It does things because there’s a significant gain in terms of how much better something is.

      Macs: because they’re nicer than PCs, and easier to use for the layperson.

      iPhone: because smartphones prior to the iPhone sucked, and dumbphones were even more perplexing.

      iPad: because the portability of the iPhone married with the functionality of a large screen can do some things better than a pocket-sized device can, and some things better than a laptop can.

      I can’t see what /significant/ gain can be made by a touchable laptop or iMac; there’ll be confusing UI design (touch-friendly vs non-touch-friendly on the same platform), incoherent and inconsistent design (worse than currently), and potentially a lot of broken MacBook Air display hinges.

      “But people already try touching it” is not a gain in functionality, not where a loss of the elegance of OS X and a confusion of principles is the compromise.

      • Aetles

        “Apple doesn’t do things just because it can. It does things because there’s a significant gain in terms of how much better something is.”


        In this case I’ve been very skeptic about touch screens for a long time. But now I see it as a natural development. Just like I once was very skeptic about removing buttons from phones and replace it with a touch screen.

        The main point here is that a touch screen would only be a compliment to the keyboard and touchpad. For most task the keyboard is the best input for text and commands and the touchpad is the best input for cursor control and other gestures. But there is some task where a quick touch on the actual screen would be the most effective one.

      • Aetles
  • Mr. Chowdry’s opinion has more influence with investors than any of us. Any wonder that the stock is so undervalued? And what does that say about your average investor?

  • I briefly used the touch screen HP-150 desktop in 1984. That experience cured me of ever wanting to touch a desktop/laptop screen again.

  • SecondCity73

    i was given a touchscreen hp as a gift. Number 1, i have never used the touchscreen on it. Number 2, it is a slow piece of crap. My MacBook Air runs windows faster. And that is out of the box, no additional software installed.

  • HAL9000point5

    He must’ve seen a laptop get used as a touch tablet on a commercial, and thinks that it needs to be this way. Hey, if Acer is doing it, Apple should be as well, too.

  • I remember Steve Jobs saying they did testing and vertical touch screens were fatiguing.

  • I mean, come on: “Trip Chowdhry”

  • Sy

    As a longtime (since 1985) Mac user, iPod, iPhone, iPad owner and Apple shareholder, I agree that Trip is off base. However, IF my 13″ MacBook Pro laptop had a touch screen, I might use it once in a while to swipe through files in the Finder, or to outline something in Photoshop Elements. But I would use the touchpad more, and I really love the gestures. Is that “once in a while” touchscreen use worth the expense…probably not.

    Now if an 11″ Macbook Air truly flipped around to become a real iPad (and went from OS X mode to iOS mode instantly), I believe there would be a big market for it. And it might blunt the Surface, since it would be a Mac, run OS X and Mac Office, but could also run Windows 8 and all that entails. And if it ALSO could run iOS, then you’ve got one hell of a product. And it would kill the Surface Pro.

    I think this product is already in Apple’s labs. They are just waiting for the right time to release it.

  • It’s interesting that he ignores the fact that Apple has used the touchpad as the touch screen analog interface for years now. If you have a touchpad that mimics touching the screen no need to stretch and no need to oil up your actual screen.

  • aardman

    Trip could have just sat on his desk and mimicked using a touch interface on his pc for thirty minutes, reaching out and swiping the screen each time he would have used the mouse or trackpad. Then with his wrist, elbow and shoulder sending urgent pain messages to his brain, perhaps he would not be publishing the sort of claptrap that he just put out in this research note.

    Really, a lot of these analysts are just mentally and physically lazy.

  • Eye

    Analysts sort of sound like whiny children who just want things really, really badly.

    “I wanna touchscreen MacBook! Apple don’t give me dat!”

  • Also the statement about touch is blatantly false.

    Mighty Mouse? OS X gestures? The desktop touch pad?

    It’s not that Apple hasn’t brought touch to the desktop. It has and it’s done it well.

    It just that Apple is smart enough to realize mobile touch and desktop touch are two different things. Trip either doesn’t realize this or is denying it to backup his incendiary tone.

  • Felix Stanek

    A new Windows 8 commercial is featuring this girl painting flowers on a touchscreen enabled Sony all-in-one PC. Looks attractive for the non tech savvy shopper but I wonder how much this feature will be actually used though.