In some ways I can see Apple’s point about keeping touch screen devices separate from laptops, etc. At least as far as what I see as a general problem with reaching out to touch the screen.
Yes, if you set up an ipad with a keyboard, it has essentially the same problem of needing to reach out. To me, that isn’t comfortable and accuracy is a problem when REACHING.
Of course, maybe it is fine for some people. Then the question would be whether it is fine for enough to justify doing it.
But to me, that isn’t the real issue. What I can’t see is why wouldn’t Apple want to have a device like the Surface (I don’t have experience with it so I’m going on general impressions) that you can use like a laptop (with keyboard, mouse, and if you really need to in a pinch, tap the screen), BUT which you can also hold like a tablet where tapping is easy and even more appropriate.
Certainly having an OS that lets you do both is more complicated, but then again, both exist separately now. Heck, if nothing else, it could switch between interfaces depending on how it is being used at the moment.
Considering I can see the day coming where something like an iPhone will have the power of a desktop so when you come home, you just pop it into a dock and a big 4k (or 8k eventually) is also available, doing a laptop/tablet hybrid seems logical enough.
I get the same feeling about Apple’s philosophy on this as I got back when they only had one mouse button. Even now, unless something has changed I’m not aware of, if you get more buttons on a mouse, macOS only lets you do limited things with the extra buttons. I had to buy Steermouse to program every button the way I wanted.