Speaking to The Independent, Apple’s Craig Federighi (alongside Greg Joswiak and John Ternus) dismisses the idea that Big Sur’s UI changes point to a touch interface for the Mac:
“I gotta tell you when we released Big Sur, and these articles started coming out saying, ‘Oh my God, look, Apple is preparing for touch’. I was thinking like, ‘Whoa, why?’
“We we had designed and evolved the look for macOS in a way that felt most comfortable and natural to us, not remotely considering something about touch.
Granted, this is Apple we’re talking about, and there’s always wiggle room in how it discusses its products. But the sentiment seems clear that a touch interface on the Mac isn’t coming anytime soon.
There are some other interesting tidbits in the interview, such as some thoughts on why the form factors remain largely unchanged with this transition and laying out a vague path for where Apple silicon Macs go from here.