Apple reveals why the new MacBook Pro doesn't have Face ID or a touchscreen

M1 Max Macbook Pro Keyboard
M1 Max Macbook Pro Keyboard (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • Apple has tried to explain the absence of Face ID and a touchscreen in the new MacBook Pro.
  • The company says Touch ID is more convenient because a user's hands are already on the keyboard.
  • They also said that the iPad is the best touch computer in the world, and the Mac is "totally optimized" for indirect input.

Apple executives have revealed that the company believes Touch ID is more convenient than Face ID on the new MacBook Pro (2021), and that Apple has never seen the need to put a touchscreen on any of its best MacBooks.

Speaking to Joanna Stern at The Wall Street Journal Tom Boger, VP of iPad and Mac product marketing, and John Ternus, SVP of hardware engineering talked about both issues. From the report:

And Face ID? When I stare at the laptop's giant notch, I wonder why I can't unlock the machine with my face. Mr. Boger said Touch ID is more convenient on a laptop since your hands are already on the keyboard.

On touchscreens, Ternus told Stern that Apple makes the world's best touch computer with iPad, and that it was totally optimized for touch input. Whereas the Mac is totally optimized for indirect input and that "we haven't really felt a reason to change that."

The pair also addressed the lack of upgradeable RAM in the new MacBook Pro, pointing out as expected that the Mac's unified architecture of the M1 Pro and M1 Max is what enables its high-performance levels. Apple also hinted at some of its decisions to bring back features like MagSafe charging, the SD card slot, and an HDMI port saying Apple was "constantly listening to our customers" and "decided to make some changes" with the new Mac.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

3 Comments
  • Sure, but why did they make it HDMI 2.0 and not 2.1?
  • Complete BS face I.D. would be way more convenient they just didn't want to cut into their profit margins.
  • It'll be added in the next year or two, once they slim it down enough to fit within the razor-thin display lid & their bloated profit margins.