Apple’s Touch Bar Could Be A Failure, History Tells Us

Apple Macbook ProImage source: Apple

Apple introduced its Touch Bar with the new Mac laptops it recently released, but on Thursday, Lenovo reminded us that by doing this, the iPhone maker ignored very recent history, reports The Register. On its new laptops, Apple has replaced the physical hardware function keys with a touch-sensitive OLED strip it refers to as a Touch Bar.

Apple could learn something from Lenovo

Apple’s Touch Bar idea is not an original one and was first introduced two years ago by Lenovo in its second-gen Yoga. The Yoga was a failure, as users hated it, and hence, the company did not repeat it in 2015.

Lenovo Senior Technologist Graham Thomas told The Register, “We’d been having the same thoughts. People use those function keys for different things or not at all.”

The Optimus OLED keyboard made a big splash by introducing the adaptive concept in 2006, but then it wasn’t seen for the next two years. Apple actually filed for a patent in 2007.

The feedback from users was negative though, and this made Lenovo restore the traditional physical Fn keys in the third generation of Yoga laptops.

Thomas said, “You have to listen to your customers.”

Lenovo is promoting its clever Yoga Book, a surprisingly useful idea available at an even more surprising consumer price. According to The Register, the problem with Apple is that it is adamant at doing what it feels like and doesn’t listen to consumers.

MacBook Pro incompatible with Thunderbolt 3

There is a long list of complaints regarding limitations with Apple’s new MacBook Pro, and the new addition to that list is that the notebooks might not be compatible with existing Thunderbolt 3 hardware, reported an aftermarket Mac accessories maker called Plugable. The company manufactures peripherals such as docking stations, adaptors, etc.

In a blog post, it claimed that Apple’s “design decisions” are responsible for keeping Thunderbolt 3 devices running Texas Instruments’ controller chips from communicating with late-2016 MacBook Pro hardware. The aftermarket parts maker was testing the compatibility of its existing Thunderbolt 3 dock lineup when it discovered the deficiency, reports Apple Insider.

To be specific, it discovered that a pair of Plugable’s Thunderbolt 3 graphics was incompatible with a MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar test bed. This put pressure on the company to push back the launch of an upcoming docking product.

In a statement to AppleInsider, Apple said, “While we have no comment on Plugable’s specific complaint, products using the newest Thunderbolt chipsets, with up-to-date drivers, will have no difficulty connecting to any 2016 MacBook Pro.”

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at

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