The butterfly keyboard, Apple’s writing device, is a popular choice among writers and other creative types. However, the design has several flaws. The butterfly mechanism was extremely fragile, and small debris could break a key, causing double letters. As a result, replacing a key on a butterfly keyboard required taking the laptop to an Apple repair center. In addition, a replacement key would likely be expensive, requiring the repair service to disassemble the machine.
Issues with Apple’s butterfly keyboard design
Despite Apple’s reputation for quality and innovation, the company has had a rough year with its butterfly keyboard design. In 2017, customers continued to report problems with the keyboard. MacRumors posted a thread detailing the problems, including users reporting that keys would no longer function and would register two presses instead of one. The problem is so bad that even John Gruber, the creator of Ruby on Rails, called the Apple butterfly keyboard the worst product in company history.
As a result of the numerous complaints, Apple has apologized to its customers, and has started a repair program for affected MacBooks. The company is also addressing its own design flaw with the keyboard, which it first introduced with the 12-inch MacBook and later brought to the MacBook Pro line. However, user sentiment toward the butterfly keyboard has only grown worse over the years. Users have reported problems with keys randomly double-registering, stuck keys, and general reliability concerns.
Unreliability of the design
The “Butterfly Keyboard” was introduced with the MacBook in 2015. While Apple continues to minimize the issue, it has been widely known since at least 2020 that the writing experience has been less than ideal. In a recent article for Signal vs. Noise, author David Heinemeier Hansson pointed out that the “keyboard fiasco” is more widespread than Apple claims. In fact, a majority of Apple’s employees have complained about the keyboard, and that they haven’t been able to get it working.
Since its launch, many MacBook Pro owners have complained about the unreliability of Apple’s butterfly keyboard for written work. Small pieces of dust can interfere with the keyboard’s functionality. Even when it is under warranty, the keyboard is prone to malfunctioning again. Despite the high number of complaints, Apple has yet to respond. Until then, it’s not clear when the keyboard will be fixed.
Cost of replacing a key
Changing a broken key on an Apple MacBook can cost from $350 to $700. However, if you have AppleCare+, Apple will repair the key for free if the accident caused it to break. If the keyboard is damaged by misuse or abuse, you can also get it replaced under consumer laws. In addition to free repairs, Apple also offers a replacement plan in case of a broken keyboard.
The butterfly keyboard has become a target for class action lawsuits over the last few years. The keyboard’s thin design made it harder to replace keys and eliminated third-party repair shops. But it’s also the perfect example of a problem that was left unresolved for years. Apple has a reputation for creating a reality distortion field. This case was a perfect example of how a keyboard that was supposed to improve functionality was left untouched for so long.
Reliability of new scissor switch keyboard
Apple is planning to introduce new scissor switch keyboards on its MacBook Pro and Air models in 2019. These devices are expected to provide more durability and key travel than their predecessors. They may also address reliability and low travel problems that plague the butterfly mechanism. We’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of the new keyboards. Hopefully, they will prove to be as useful as Apple claims.
A new scissor switch keyboard may be a good investment for MacBook users. Although this new device will add a little bit of thickness to the device, it will have better key travel and durability than its predecessors. The design was used by Apple for its desktops, but this time it’s being adapted to MacBooks. Apple is likely to roll out the new keyboard with the 2019 MacBook Air and the next-generation MacBook Pro in 2020.
Impact on MacBook sales
While the problem may not be widespread, it certainly is a hindrance to some consumers, especially those who write on their computers frequently. This issue is not limited to new MacBooks, but has affected existing models, too. Apple extended the warranty period for new models, as well, and has instituted a “keyboard service program” to address the issue. The program also offers free replacement of butterfly keyboards up to four years after purchase.
Regardless of whether it’s a good idea for writers, the current MacBook keyboard is a mess and actively degrades productivity. Its design has even been denounced by Apple loyalists, including John Gruber, who called the new keyboard “the biggest design screwup in Apple’s history.” Meanwhile, Casey Johnson’s article last year raised eyebrows about the problems with the MacBook’s keyboard and its replacement, resulting in class-action lawsuits against Apple.