Tim Cook knocks idea of MacBook-iPad combo device

During the company's earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed the idea of mixing a notebook with something like the iPad's touch screen.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

If you were holding your breath for Apple to release a MacBook-iPad hybrid device, it might be time to get some oxygen.

During Apple's second quarter earnings call this afternoon, Apple CEO Tim Cook knocked the idea -- which was brought up by an analyst asking about Microsoft's Windows 8 -- calling such convergence a "compromise" to the end user.

"Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about tradeoffs, and you begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left doesn't please anyone," Cook said. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going be pleasing to the user."

The unequivocal dismissal comes on the heels of Apple selling nearly 47 million iOS devices during its second fiscal quarter, compared to 4 million Macs, which was lower than what Wall Street analysts expected. The two platforms run on different operating systems, which Apple has seemingly shown little interest in combining into one. Nonetheless, its upcoming Mountain Lion release for the Mac brings another handful of iOS applications and features over to the Mac.

The statements also follow Microsoft announcing its Release Preview of Windows 8 for the first week of June. That OS, which is Microsoft's follow-up to Windows 7, combines traditional Windows with a touch screen interface dubbed "Metro." Microsoft has not yet announced a solid date for the release, though it's likely to come after Apple's, which the company today said would arrive in "late summer."

This is not the first time Cook's dismissed the idea of adding touch features to Macs. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in February, Cook called desktop computing unintuitive.

"Other people have tried that with desktops, and I think to say it hasn't caught traction is probably an understatement of the year," Cook said. "Take the desktop thing. You're parked further away from your desktop, assuming it has any kind of size at all, and it's, you know, you should draw your own conclusion, but this kind of reach for me isn't a terribly intuitive thing."

Cook followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Steve Jobs, who also lambasted the idea as "ergonomically terrible."

"We've done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn't work," Jobs said while introducing the company's second-generation MacBook Air in 2010. "Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical."