The MacBook Pro may kill the Touch Bar for an Apple Pencil dock that doubles as a touchpad — yeah, we're confused, too

Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020)
(Image credit: Future)

The perfect MacBook Pro, according to popular YouTuber and Apple aficionado Mr. Mobile, would scrap the controversial Touch Bar in favor of an Apple Pencil silo. We can't help but wonder if Apple read our Systems of the Stars interview with Mr. Mobile because, as it turns out, there's a rumor that the Cupertino-based tech giant may do just that.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently published a new Apple patent that conceptualizes next-generation MacBook Pros with brand new stylus docks nestled at the top of the deck (via Patently Apple).

Next-generation MacBook Pros may come equipped with stylus docks

The Touch Bar, an OLED strip that runs along the length of the top deck where shortcut keys are usually housed, is a controversial MacBook Pro feature.

MacBook Pro (13-inches, 2020)

The Touch Bar (Image credit: Future)

Some people find it useful while others are indifferent or prefer physical keys. Folks in the latter camp will be relieved to hear that next-generation MacBook Pros will scrap the Touch Bar for a more useful replacement: a silo for the Apple Pencil.

Here's where it gets interesting — and maybe a little preposterous. According to Patently Apple's report, the patent explains the Apple Pencil (while sitting in its new stylus garage) could "act as a mouse to move a cursor." But the outrageousness doesn't stop there. The patent also purportedly imagines the Pencil as a replacement for the top F-Key row. In other words, the Pencil will feature "functional key symbols" illuminated on it that users can interact with.

We're not entirely sure how on earth a docked Pencil could double as a cursor and a row of function keys, but even if Apple managed to accomplish this unfathomable feat, we're not sure we'd want it.

The top deck isn't the only location Apple had in mind for the Apple Pencil's new home. The Cupertino-based tech giant is also contemplating placing the Pencil in a recessed retainer on the side or bottom of the MacBook Pro's chassis.

Designer Sarang Sheth brought Apple's silo concept to life with slick 3D renders. Sheth's design includes a much smaller version of the Touch Bar, giving users easy access to Siri and other useful apps.

We've heard a lot of wacky rumors about what Apple plans to do with the Touch Bar (one report speculated that the Touch Bar could move to the space bar). Thankfully, many patent ideas never make it to market. We can't wait for Apple to set the record straight about what it officially intends to do with the Touch Bar so we can put all the harebrained concepts to bed.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!