Cupertino (CA) – Apple has been quite clear about the multi-touch in desktop and notebook computers – this feature will not be available in the near term. However, contrary to the public statement, we received word that Apple may be working on a multi-touch project due for a Macworld introduction in January 2009. Supporting this information is a report that iMac display maker LG is currently taking steps to mass-produce multi-touch displays.
According to Stuff.tv, which recently visited one of LG's display factories, the company is pretty much ready ship multi-touch devices. "The screen itself looks like it's good–to–go," says the post. "LG’s done it's bit, so Apple, it's over to you."
Of course, LG is making LCDs for other manufacturers as well and sells LCD displays under its own brand. Let’s not forget that Windows 7 will be released in late 2009 and these multi-touch displays could simply be Windows 7 LCDs. And if Apple is really preparing a multi-touch iMac, it would not even represent the first foray of a major computer maker into multi-touch desktops.
If we put aside Microsoft’s Surface technology for a moment, it was widely believed that Apple would follow last year's commercial debut of multi-touch technology in iPhone with the technology deployment across its entire desktop line. This has not happened yet. In the meantime, HP beat Apple at its own game with its TouchSmart series of all-in-one desktops unveiled this summer.
Priced against Apple's Mac desktop, HP's TouchSmart desktops distance themselves from the iMac with built-in touchscreen display used to navigate around the system and manipulate media. On top of that, higher-end TouchSmart PCs offer much more performance than iMacs in terms of graphics, memory and storage. In addition to the TouchSmart desktops, HP last week unveiled the TouchSmart tx2 notebook.
At the same time, the lack of any kind of system-wide multitouch support in Snow Leopard, due in March 2009, makes multitouch iMac somewhat uncertain at this point. Of course, it is entirely possible that the company comes up with a multi-touch iMac for the January 2009 Macworld Expo and introduce comprehensive multi-touch support in Snow Leopard in the last minute.