According to one of the patents registered by Apple, a new keyboard may appear in the MacBook in the future. Its main feature will be a removable key. If necessary, users will be able to use this button as a manipulator.
The authors of the patent note that in some cases, owners of portable computers are forced to use a mouse. It provides more control and allows users to make subtle manipulations. For example, only with the help of an external manipulator can you make minor changes to a picture opened in a graphics editor. The trackpad just can’t deliver that kind of accuracy.
However, often external mice are not compact in size. This is precisely the problem Apple wants to solve by creating a keyboard with a built-in manipulator. It is difficult to say now how convenient the latter will be to use.
You need to understand that the presence of a patent is not a guarantee that Apple will implement such an idea in its devices. At the moment, the apple company’s patent portfolio contains at least a dozen documents that describe different types of keyboards for the MacBook. But none of these ideas was ever implemented.