Seemingly out of the blue, and following what feels like months of adamant customer feedback, Apple has just confirmed an issue with the butterfly keyboards used in the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models.
Late on Friday, Apple officially opened a brand new repair program for the MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. According to the company’s official support document for the new program, the company has determined that there is a “small percentage” of keyboards in “certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models” may suffer from aberrant behavior. Apple has even listed out a few issues it has been tracking:
- Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
- Letters or characters do not appear
- Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner
“Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will service eligible MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards, free of charge. The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.”
Apple has included models of MacBook and MacBook Pro that is outfitted with the butterfly keyboard design, which dates back to early 2015, when Apple first introduced the design with the 12-inch MacBook.
Here is the full list of supported MacBooks and MacBook Pros, which are covered in this new repair program:
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
Apple also makes sure to note that while this is a repair program, it does not extend the standard manufacturer’s warranty for these laptops, even those covered.
This has been a longstanding issue with Apple, but it has recently come to a head. It was reported that the 2016 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard has twice the failure rate of older models, and editorials were published talking about how bad the butterfly keyboard has been. Indeed, Apple now faces class action lawsuits over the keyboard design.
This is a bold move on Apple’s part, even if it is much, much later than it probably should have been. Of course, what this isn’t is an admission that Apple did anything wrong with the butterfly keyboard design. Though, now it seems a lot more interesting to see if they will change anything later this year.